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This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating. These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio. This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance say, uranium gradually decays to the daughter substance say, leadso the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be. Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning. Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers. To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.

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To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.

Radioactivity rock dating

Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava. Now another issue is simply the atomic weight of uranium and thorium, which is high. Suppose this rock is obtained by mixing of two other rocks, A and B.

Radioactive clocks

At equilibrium, which should be attained inyears for this decay series, we should expect to have 3 million times as much U as radium to equalize the amount of daughter produced. Crystalline solids tend to be denser than liquids from which they came. Zheng pp.

Radioactivity rock dating

In these instances, the feldspar crystals will have calcium-rich interiors surrounded by Radioactivty that are progressively richer in sodium. If I have a rock X with lots of uranium and lead daughter isotope, and rock Y with less of both relative to non-radiogenic leadthen one will get an isochron with a positive slope. The following is a group of rocks and materials that have dated by various atomic clock methods: Sample Approximate Age in Rck Cloth wrappings from a mummified bull Samples taken from a pyramid in Dashur, Egypt.

These isotopes decay within the rocks according to their half-life rates, and by selecting Radioactiivty appropriate minerals those that contain potassium, for instance and measuring the relative amounts of parent and daughter isotopes in them, the date at which the rock crystallized can be determined.

Experimental study of rocks

Mechanisms that can create isochrons giving meaningless ages: Geologists attempt to estimate the initial concentration of daughter product by a clever device called an isochron. For that reason, igneous rocks of granitic composition are strongly enriched in U and Th compared to rocks of basaltic or ultramafic composition. Lead has a low melting point, so it will melt early and enter the magma.

Thus P1, D1, and N1 are s between 0 and 1 whose sum adds to less than 1. This would in turn tend to produce a high melting point, since the atoms would attract one another electrostatically. John W.

Dating rocks and fossils using geologic methods

Suppose that A has a for the sake of argument, uniform concentration of P1 of parent, D1 of daughter, and N1 of non-radiogenic isotope of the daughter. One can get this mixing to work with smaller concentrations, too.

Once the rocks melt, a plume of molten material begins to rise in the crust. Thus only a small fraction of the radium present aRdioactivity the lava at most 10 percent is the result of decay of the uranium in the lava.

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The relative concentrations of lead isotopes are measured in the vicinity of a rock. There is also evidence that many anomalies are never reported. This rising body of magma is an open system with respect to the surrounding crustal rocks. Evolution has always been in trouble.

Radioactivity rock dating

By taking enough measurements of the concentrations of Datkng, D, and N, we can solve for c1 and c2, and from c1 we can determine the radiometric age of the sample. One would not expect there to be much difference in the concentration of lead isotopes due to fractionation, since isotopes have properties that are very similar.

Radioactivity rock dating

Even this is problematical, unless the magma is very hot, and no external material enters. Thus we can get an isochron by mixing, that has the age of the younger-looking continental crust. Faurepp.

Radioactivity rock dating

These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio. Let us consider processes dahing could cause uranium and thorium to be incorporated into minerals with a high melting point.

Radioactivity rock dating

Some of the patterns that are produced may appear to give valid radiometric dates. It appears that at one or more aRdioactivity in the crystallization process, a separation of the solid and liquid components of a magma frequently occurs.

Radioactive dating

Note that this assumption implies a thorough mixing and melting of the magma, which would also mix in the parent Radioactovity as well. The remaining melt could migrate to a of different locations and, upon further crystallization, generate rocks having a composition much different from the parent magma. Concerning the distribution of parent and daughter isotopes in various substances, there are appreciable differences. Further, Faure explains that uraninite UO sub2 is a component of igneous rocks Faure, p.

One might say that if there were problems, then geologists wouldn't use these methods. This mechanism was suggested by Jon Covey. The only place where radioactive equilibrium of the U series exists in zero age lavas is in Hawiian rocks. He then noted that the whole flow probably occured and solidified the surface at least within weeks.

Dating using radioactive decay

Illustration of how the earliest formed minerals can be separated from a magma by settling. As the ocean floor sinks, it encounters increasing pressures and temperatures within the crust. The really funny thing to me is that it is very possible that we are trying to explain a phantom of our imagination.

Radioactivity rock dating

Finally, if one only considers U-Pb and Th-Pb dates for which this test is done, and for which mixing cannot be detected. But if there is a variation, such effects could help to explain it. In fact, more is true.

Radioactive dating methods

I now give a more natural three-source mixing scenario that can produce an arbitrary isochron, which could not be detected by a mixing test. Magma from the ocean floor has little U and little U and probably little lead vating lead and lead So this factor would also make the age appear to become younger with time.

Of course, any process that tends to concentrate or deplete uranium or thorium relative to lead would have an influence on the radiometric ages computed by uranium-lead or thorium-lead dating.