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This indicates that some excess argon is present. In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain , eventually ending with the formation of a stable nonradioactive daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life. On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years. Differential migration of elements as minerals form. At low temperatures, this may become the dominant means by which argon diffuses into a mineral, but the effect of this kind of diffusion at low temperatures may not be evident until many years have passed. This is computed from the current quantity of parent isotope plus the accumulated quantity of daughter isotope. This scheme has application over a wide range of geologic dates. References also refer to " Other sources " Baadsgaard, H. But for rocks deep in the earth, the mixture of argon in their environment is probably much higher in Ar40, since only Ar40 is produced by radioactive decay. The biostratigraphic situation can be summarized as a vertically-stacked sequence of "zones" defined by the first appearance of each ammonite species: If the Earth were as young as young-Earth creationists insist, then the "contamination" which they suggest to invalidate dating methods would have no noticeable effect on the results. But how do we know what happens over thousands of years? This will make it more difficult to detect this added argon by the spectrum test described below. Miscellaneous notes Age "uncertainty" When a "simple" dating method is performed, the result is a single number.
This trend can be seen by looking at the history of proposed geologic time scales described in the first chapter of [Harland et al, , p. This could happen because of properties of the magma chambers, or because of argon being given off by some rocks and absorbed by others. It seems reasonable to me that the large radiometric ages are simply a consequence of mixing, and not related to ages at all, at least not necessarily the ages of the rocks themselves. Now, igneous bodies can be of two types, extrusive and intrusive. Let me clarify the problem with excess argon. The methods work too well most of the time. In a single rock there may be mutually contaminating, potassium- bearing minerals. Note that the methods used by isotope geologists as described by York are much more complicated than those described by Gonick. This would seem to imply that the problem of radiometric dating has been solved, and that there are no anomalies. Such assumptions will not always be accurate in the real world. Many sedimentary uranium ores are not. Slusher asserted that the best known value of the branching ratio was not always used in computing K-Ar radiometric ages. In fact, the argon in the magma may well be even higher, as it may concentrate near the top. Thus the agreement found between many dates does not necessarily reflect an agreement between different methods, but rather the agreement of the K-Ar method with itself. This is a very rare occurrence, but examples are known: If such [excessive] ages as mentioned above are obtained for pillow lavas, how are those from deep-sea drilling out in the Atlantic where sea-floor spreading is supposed to be occurring? So argon is being produced throughout the earth's crust, and in the magma, all the time. This involves inspection of a polished slice of a material to determine the density of "track" markings left in it by the spontaneous fission of uranium impurities. Your hypothetical example in "More Bad News for Radiometric Dating" is often hard to follow, but it is clearly invalid. Mineral isochrons red of the various flows give several different young ages. If one of the samples happened to contain no P it would plot where the isochron line intercepts the Y-axis , then its quantity of D wouldn't change over time -- because it would have no parent atoms to produce daughter atoms. In contrast, P is a different element with different chemical properties. For example, different kinds of quartz have different colors due to various impurities that are included but not part of the repetitive unit of the quartz crystal. See archived copy instead. One cannot always use an isochron, since many minerals may have about the same K and Ar40 concentrations, and there may be some fractionation of argon among the minerals. Other mechanisms include dissolving of rock, releasing its argon, fracturing of rock, with release of argon, argon from cooling lava under water entering the water and entering other rocks, and argon from cooling lave entering subterranean water and being transported to other rock.
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