Radiometric dating methods geology


13-May-2020 17:55

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Through analysis, a bone fragment is determined to contain 13% of its original carbon-14.

The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. Since the quantity represents 13% (or 13/100ths) of , it follows that This is based on the decay of rubidium isotopes to strontium isotopes, and can be used to date rocks or to relate organisms to the rocks on which they formed.

It suffers from the problem that rubidium and strontium are very mobile and may easily enter rocks at a much later date to that of formation.

This method for rock dating is based on the decay of potassium-40 into argon: until the rock solidifies, argon can escape, so it can in theory date the formation of rock.

This leaves out important information which would tell you how precise is the dating result.

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Carbon-14 decays almost completely within 100,000 years of the organism dying, and many fossils and rock strata are hundreds of times older than that.Due to the long half-life of uranium it is not suitable for short time periods, such as most archaeological purposes, but it can date the oldest rocks on earth.A proper radiometric date should read years before present (with 1950 being present) ± range/2 at x standard deviations (Xσ)', but is often reported as a single year or a year range, like 1260–1390 CE (the date for the Shroud of Turin).To date older fossils, other methods are used, such as potassium-argon or argon-argon dating.

Other forms of dating based on reactive minerals like rubidium or potassium can date older finds including fossils, but have the limitation that it is easy for ions to move into rocks post-formation so that care must be taken to consider geology and other factors.

Carbon dating works on organic matter, all of which contains carbon.