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Geologic age dating methods

Radioactive Dating

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The Meaning of a Radiometric Date When we employ isotopic methods on minerals we are measuring an age date. Generally, an age date refers to the time since a mineral crystallized from molten rock magma or lava.

Hence when we date a mineral, we may be dating the time since the mineral crystallized from a dating methods, or the time since the mineral last experienced a period of heating above its Curie point, which is the temperature beyond which the mineral is able to lose or gain elements from its structure, without melting.

So we have to know something about the rock before we forge ahead to measure an age. Or we may be interested in the age of the metamorphic event itself, so choose a mineral and isotope pair that is susceptible to resetting the isotopic clock during metamorphism such as by losing all of the daughter isotope.

Absolute age dating is a powerful geologic age dating methods for unraveling the geological history of a region, but we have seen that we must ultimately rely upon igneous rocks that may have later metamorphosed for the minerals that we are able to date see the next section for issues with dating sedimentary rocks directly. Another issue with absolute age dating is that it is expensive, with a single analysis costing several hundreds of dollars.

Hence geologists never forget their relative age dating principles, and are always applying them in the field to determine the sequence of events that formed the rocks in a region. Use relative dating techniques to determine the age ranges for the sets of sedimentary units A, B, and C.

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Geochronology is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments using Most radiometric methods are suitable for geological time only​, but some such These techniques date metamorphic, igneous and volcanic rocks. Dating, in geology, determining a chronology or calendar of events in the formations, and fossil organisms, geologists employ a variety of techniques. a radiometric dating technique used to determine the absolute age of rock particles​.