Radiometric Dating Methods Radiometric Dating Methods

What are some problems with radiometric dating, you are here

This was true at a regional, and even a global scale. Sedimentary beds in outcrop, a graphical plot of a stratigraphic section, and a "way up" indicator example: Furthermore, there is still disagreement of 15 percent between the two preferred values for the U decay constant.

But how can we know that this claim is true, without knowing the history of rocks and knowing whether they have in fact experienced later heating or leaching? These conditions are most often met in small, relatively deep lakes at mid to high latitudes. Encyclopaedia Britannica 10, p.

Potassium is found to be very mobile under leaching conditions.

Admittedly, this latter possibility is VERY unlikely. Uranium tends to stay dissolved in water, but thorium is insoluble in water. When Radiometric Dating "Just Works" or not A poor example There are many situations where radiometric dating is not possible, or where a dating attempt will be fraught with difficulty.

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Many naturalists were influenced by Lyell to become "uniformitarians" who believed that changes were constant and uniform. Well, standard scientific procedure is to collect more data to test the possible explanations -- is it the time scale or the data that are incorrect?

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For example, the rubidium-strontium method would give a valid isotopic age of the biotite sample with inherited argon. So to me it seems to be certain that these ages must be in error.

This observation led to attempts to explain the fossil succession by various mechanisms. The principle of original horizontality - rock layers were originally deposited close to horizontal.

And faster cooling could increase the ages by further large factors. This would be less than one part in a trillion entering the rock each day, on the average.

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Since the bulk of K-Ar dates are generally accepted as correct, one may say that certain minerals are reliable if they tend to give similar dates, and unreliable otherwise.

A similar problem can occur if the excess argon 40 dissolved within lava or magma is not able to escape, due to rapid cooling or subsequent deposits of sediment or other lava on top.

It consistently occurs below the first occurrence of Bacultes jenseni and above the occurrence of Baculites cuneatus within the upper part of the Campanian, the second to last "stage" of the Cretaceous Period in the global geological time scale. Second, there may have been a lot more more argon in the magma in the past, and with each eruption, the amount decreased.

So we have a number of mechanisms that can introduce errors in radiometric dates. This is especially true as the lava is cooling.

The answer of 25 million years deduced by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists. In addition, with each successive eruption, some gas would escape, reducing the pressure of the gas and reducing the apparent K-Ar radiometric age.

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I would like to know what is the exact or approximate information content of this assertion, and whether it could be or has been tested statistically.

Thus, a large amount of Ar40 was present in the beginning.

Circular Reasoning or Reliable Tools?

Because of the chemistry of rocks, it was possible to calculate how much radioactive decay had occurred since an appropriate mineral had formed, and how much time had therefore expired, by looking at the ratio between the original radioactive isotope and its product, if the decay rate was known. A good example By contrast, the example presented here is a geologically simple situation -- it consists of several primary i.

This estimate was actually reduced over his lifetime to between 20 Ma and 40 Ma and eventually to less than 10 Ma. A schematic representation of the uranium decay chain, showing the longest-lived nuclides.

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However, there may be other explanations for this apparent age. All of these special problems as well as others can produce contradictory and erroneous results for the various radiometric dating systems. Dickin suggests that mixings may contribute to such isochrons.

The geological time Christian dating and cuddling and the techniques used to define it are not circular.