How reliable is radiometric dating


25-Jul-2017 07:07

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Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.

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.

However, geologists have found that various eruptive stages of the same volcano often extrude lavas exhibiting somewhat different mineral compositions, particularly if an extensive period of time separated the eruptions.

Evidence of this type led them to look into the possibility that a single magma might produce rocks of varying mineral content. Bowen discovered that as magma cools in the laboratory, certain minerals crystallize first.

This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so 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.

Error Banner.fade_out.modal_overlay.modal_overlay .modal_wrapper.modal_overlay [email protected](max-width:630px)@media(max-width:630px).modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:hover:before. Recall that olivine is composed of a single tetrahedra and that the other minerals in this sequence are composed of single chains, double chains, and sheet structures, respectively.Ordinarily, these reactions are not complete so that various amounts of each of these minerals may exist at any given time.This reaction will continue until the last mineral in the series, biotite mica, is formed.

This left branch is called a discontinuous reaction series because each mineral has a different crystalline structure.

The right branch of the reaction series is a continuum in which the earliest formed calcium-rich feldspar crystals react with the sodium ions contained in the melt to become progressively more sodium rich.



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