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Posted by / 24-Jul-2017 03:31

Absolute dating of rocks

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.Continue Reading In the field of archeology, the term "absolute" is somewhat misleading.Chronometric or calendar dating is a better choice.

You might have noticed that many of the oldest age dates come from a mineral called zircon.Absolute dating is a method of determining the specific date of a paleontological or archaeological artifact or location based on a specific time scale or calendar.Scientists base absolute dating on measurable physical or chemical changes or on written records of events.On the other hand, the half-life of the isotope potassium 40 as it decays to argon is 1.26 billion years.So carbon 14 is used to date materials that aren’t that old geologically, say in the tens of thousands of years, while potassium-argon dating can be used to determine the ages of much older materials, in the millions and billions year range.

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