Radiogenic dating techniques

24-Oct-2017 21:40

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Here he can see that some curved sedimentary rocks have been cut vertically by a sheet of volcanic rock called a dyke.

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by Tas Walker A geologist works out the relative age of a rock by carefully studying where the rock is found in the field.

The field relationships, as they are called, are of primary importance and all radiometric dates are evaluated against them.

For example, a geologist may examine a cutting where the rocks appear as shown in Figure 1.

By definition, D* = N-1) (2) Now we can calculate the age if we know the number of daughter atoms produced by decay, D* and the number of parent atoms now present, N.

The only problem is that we only know the number of daughter atoms now present, and some of those may have been present prior to the start of our clock. The reason for this is that Rb has become distributed unequally through the Earth over time.

When a single body of liquid rock crystallizes, parent and daughter elements may separate so that, once solid, the isotopic data would define a series of points, such as those shown as open circles designated R.

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