ROCKS, WEATHERING, SOIL AND GEOLOGIC TIME

These are K-Ar data obtained on glauconite, a potassium-bearing clay mineral that forms in some marine sediment. Woodmorappe fails to mention, however, that these data were obtained as part of a controlled experiment to test, on samples of known age, the applicability of the K-Ar method to glauconite and to illite, another clay mineral. He also neglects to mention that most of the 89 K-Ar ages reported in their study agree very well with the expected ages. Evernden and others 43 found that these clay minerals are extremely susceptible to argon loss when heated even slightly, such as occurs when sedimentary rocks are deeply buried. As a result, glauconite is used for dating only with extreme caution. The ages from the Coast Range batholith in Alaska Table 2 are referenced by Woodmorappe to a report by Lanphere and others Whereas Lanphere and his colleagues referred to these two K-Ar ages of and million years, the ages are actually from another report and were obtained from samples collected at two localities in Canada, not Alaska. There is nothing wrong with these ages; they are consistent with the known geologic relations and represent the crystallization ages of the Canadian samples.

Potassium-40 is useful for dating very old fossils because..?

Sperrylite has the formulae PtAs2. It has a relative hardness of 7. It is a rare natural compound of platinum and arsenic. Sphalerite has the formulae ZnFe S. It has a relative hardness of 4. It is the main ore of zinc.

Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.

At the time that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, the earth was “scientifically” determined to be million years old. By , it was found to be 1. In , science firmly established that the earth was 3. Finally in , it was discovered that the earth is “really” 4. In these early studies the order of sedimentary rocks and structures were used to date geologic time periods and events in a relative way.

At first, the use of “key” diagnostic fossils was used to compare different areas of the geologic column. Although there were attempts to make relative age estimates, no direct dating method was available until the twentieth century. However, before this time some very popular indirect methods were available. For example, Lord Kelvin had estimated the ages of both the Earth and the Sun based on cooling rates.

The answer of 25 million years deduced by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists. Both the physical geologists and paleontologists could point to evidence that much more time was needed to produce what they saw in the stratigraphic and fossil records.

Igneous petrology: Wikis

This technique differs from the K-Ar technique in that prior to measurement in a mass spectrometer , the sample is irradiated with neutrons in a nuclear reactor and some of the 39K present as a known fraction of the total K in the rock is converted to 39Ar. Method The sample is generally crushed and single crystals of a mineral hand-selected for analysis. These are then irradiated to produce 39Ar from 39K.

RADIOMETRIC DATING. he question of the ages of the Earth and its rock formations and features has fascinated philosophers, theologians, and scientists for centuries, primarily because the answers put our lives in temporal perspective.

Updated 8 January c Introduction In a related article on geologic ages Ages , we presented a chart with the various geologic eras and their ages. In a separate article Radiometric dating , we sketched in some technical detail how these dates are calculated using radiometric dating techniques. As we pointed out in these two articles, radiometric dates are based on known rates of radioactivity, a phenomenon that is rooted in fundamental laws of physics and follows simple mathematical formulas.

Dating schemes based on rates of radioactivity have been refined and scrutinized for several decades. The latest high-tech equipment permits reliable results to be obtained even with microscopic samples. Radiometric dating is self-checking, because the data after certain preliminary calculations are made are fitted to a straight line an “isochron” by means of standard linear regression methods of statistics.

The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date. Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating. Here is one example of an isochron, based on measurements of basaltic meteorites in this case the resulting date is 4.

Reliability of radiometric dating So, are radiometric methods foolproof? Just how reliable are these dates? As with any experimental procedure in any field of science, these measurements are subject to certain “glitches” and “anomalies,” as noted in the literature. Skeptics of old-earth geology make great hay of these examples. For example, creationist writer Henry Morris [ Morris , pg.

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Departures from this assumption are quite common, particularly in areas of complex geological history, but such departures can provide useful information that is of value in elucidating thermal histories. A deficiency of 40 Ar in a sample of a known age can indicate a full or partial melt in the thermal history of the area.

Reliability in the dating of a geological feature is increased by sampling disparate areas which have been subjected to slightly different thermal histories. Ar—Ar dating is a similar technique which compares isotopic ratios from the same portion of the sample to avoid this problem.

There’s a funny thing that’s being going on recently, which you can sum up like this: I don’t really care anymore. This is a pretty strange turn of events for me, because I usually care about everything – way too much – which is why I get into no end of fights, issues and craziness.

Blind Leading the Blind: Because radiometric dating utterly refutes their biblical interpretations, young-Earth creationists YECs are desperate to undermine the reliability of these dating methods. As part of their efforts, YECs clearly believe that they can discredit K-Ar dating if they can show that excess argon routinely enters rocks and minerals as they form. That is, they believe that excess argon will cause rocks and minerals that are supposedly less than 10, years old to have ‘deceptively’ old K-Ar dates of millions or billions of years.

In particular, YECs attempt to demonstrate that excess argon is a ‘problem’ for K-Ar dating by locating examples of historically erupted volcanics, which yield K-Ar dates that are hundreds of thousands or millions of years older than their eruption dates. The data were miscopied from Dalrymple Brent Dalrymple is a geochronologist with 40 years experience, a pioneer in the identification of excess argon in igneous samples, and an outspoken critic of young-Earth creationism e.

As part of his seminal work on excess argon, Dalrymple dated 26 historical lava flows with K-Ar to determine whether excess argon was present. Of the 26 lava flows that were sampled and analyzed, 18 of them gave expected results. That is, no excess 40Ar or 36Ar were present. Eight rocks yielded unrealistic dates, which were either too old because of the presence of excess 40Ar 5 of them or too young negative ages because of the presence of excess 36Ar 3 of them.

The details on the 8 anomalous samples are listed in Table 2 of Dalrymple , p. Etna basalts a ‘date’ of , years for a sample that erupted in AD and a K-Ar ‘date’ of , years for the other sample, which erupted in BC , a plagioclase from Mt. Lassen, California ‘dated’ at , years; erupted in AD , and a basalt from Sunset Crater, Arizona ‘dated’ at , and , years; erupted in AD.

How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods?

Occurrence[ edit ] Biotite is found in a wide variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks. For instance, biotite occurs in the lava of Mount Vesuvius and in the Monzoni intrusive complex of the western Dolomites. Biotite in granite tends to be poorer in magnesium than the biotite found in its volcanic equivalent, rhyolite. Biotite is occasionally found in large cleavable crystals, especially in pegmatite veins, as in New England , Virginia and North Carolina.

Other notable occurrences include Bancroft and Sudbury , Ontario.

Dating – Rubidium–strontium method: The radioactive decay of rubidium (87Rb) to strontium (87Sr) was the first widely used dating system that utilized the isochron method. Rubidium is a relatively abundant trace element in Earth’s crust and can be found in many common rock-forming minerals in which it substitutes for the major element potassium.

Key concepts Absolute Dating The problem: By the mid 19th century it was obvious that Earth was much older than years, but how old? This problem attracted the attention of capable scholars but ultimately depended on serendipitous discoveries. Initially, three lines of evidence were pursued: Hutton attempted to estimate age based on the application of observed rates of sedimentation to the known thickness of the sedimentary rock column, achieving an approximation of 36 million years.

This invoked three assumptions: Constant rates of sedimentation over time Thickness of newly deposited sediments similar to that of resulting sedimentary rocks There are no gaps or missing intervals in the rock record. In fact, each of these is a source of concern. The big problem is with the last assumption. The rock record preserves erosional surfaces that record intervals in which not only is deposition of sediment not occurring, but sediment that was already there who knows how much was removed.

Strata which were deposited on top of one another without interruption.

Australian Museum

Absolute Time Radioactive decay is the process whereby an unstable parent atomic nucleus is spontaneously transformed into an atomic nucleus of another element. This reduces the atomic number of the parent by 2 and the mass number of the parent by 4. Beta decay – an electron is emitted from a neutron in the nucleus changing the neutron to a proton. This increases the atomic number of the parent element by 1 but does not change the atomic mass number.

Electron capture – occurs when a proton captures an electron and changes into a neutron. The atomic number of the parent element is decreased by 1 but the mass number is unchanged.

Free printable Geology word search puzzles complete with corresponding answer sheet with a title and bordered grid.

Chronological Methods 9 – Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials. Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old. It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium K ,decays to the gas Argon as Argon Ar By comparing the proportion of K to Ar in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K , the date that the rock formed can be determined.

How Does the Reaction Work? Potassium K is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust 2. One out of every 10, Potassium atoms is radioactive Potassium K These each have 19 protons and 21 neutrons in their nucleus. If one of these protons is hit by a beta particle, it can be converted into a neutron. With 18 protons and 22 neutrons, the atom has become Argon Ar , an inert gas.

Potassium-argon Dating