# Potassium–Argon Dating of Plio-Pleistocene Intrusive Rocks

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The potassium-argon K-Ar dating method is probably the most widely used technique for determining the absolute ages of crustal geologic events and processes. It is used to determine the ages of formation and thermal histories of potassium-bearing rocks and minerals of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary origin, as well as extraterrestrial meteorites and lunar rocks. The K-Ar method is among the oldest of the geochronological methods; it successfully produces reliable absolute ages of geologic materials. It has been developed and refined for over 50 years. In the conventional technique, which is described in this article, K and Ar concentrations are measured separately. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Geochemistry Edition. Contents Search. Potassium-argon dating method.

## Potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating

Perhaps no dating method has the wide range of applicability as does the potassium argon dating method from either consideration of the ranges of ages which can be dated or the availability of suitable material to date. Minerals as young as tens of thousands of years to minerals billions of years old have been successfully dated. Many minerals retain for times of the order of billions of years the daughter, Ar40, and many minerals contain as a component K40 the parent element, potassium being a common element in the earth’s crust.

As a result, most rock contains at least one mineral which can be successfully dated by the potassium argon method. Even though this method has been applied for over fifteen years, there is as yet no work which summarizes the experimental techniques and the results available.

It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium (K),decays to the gas Argon as Argon (Ar). By.

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A Nature Research Journal. THE potential of the potassium—argon technique in the dating of young rocks can be evaluated by applying it to intrusive igneous rocks which are well dated by conventional geological methods.

## Potassium-argon dating of Franciscan metamorphic rocks

An absolute dating technique similar to radiocarbon dating but applicable to much older deposits. It is used to determine the age of volcanic rock strata containing or sealing archaeological objects rather than to date the artefacts themselves. In volcanic rocks any argon present will have escaped when the rock was last molten but will start to accumulate again when it solidifies. Thus by carefully measuring the amount of 40 K and 40 Ar present in a sample it is possible to work out how long ago it was that the rock solidified.

Subjects: Science and technology.

potas′sium-ar′gon dat`ing. n. a method for estimating the age of a mineral or rock, based on measurement of the rate of decay of radioactive potassium into.

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## Potassium-Argon Dating

The stable magnetizations of the Tasmanian Dolerites are shown to fall into two distinct groups depending upon their directions and the geographical region of the dolerites. It has been suggested that this could be a result of significant age differences between the dolerites of these groups. A series of K-Ar determinations indicates that there is no detectable systematic age differences and the average of the five bodies dated is

[Te]An absolute dating technique similar to radiocarbon dating but applicable to much older deposits. It is used to determine the age of volcanic rock strata.

Potassium-argon dating , method of determining the time of origin of rocks by measuring the ratio of radioactive argon to radioactive potassium in the rock. This dating method is based upon the decay of radioactive potassium to radioactive argon in minerals and rocks; potassium also decays to calcium Thus, the ratio of argon and potassium and radiogenic calcium to potassium in a mineral or rock is a measure of the age of the sample. The calcium-potassium age method is seldom used, however, because of the great abundance of nonradiogenic calcium in minerals or rocks, which masks the presence of radiogenic calcium.

On the other hand, the abundance of argon in the Earth is relatively small because of its escape to the atmosphere during processes associated with volcanism. The potassium-argon dating method has been used to measure a wide variety of ages. The potassium-argon age of some meteorites is as old as 4,,, years, and volcanic rocks as young as 20, years old have been measured by this method.

Potassium-argon dating. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica’s editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History. Read More on This Topic.

## Potassium-argon dating

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. Perhaps no dating method has the wide range of applicability as does the potassium argon dating method from either consideration of the ranges of ages which can be dated or the availability of suitable material to date.

for K-Ar Dating. ICHIRO K ANEOKA*. (Received28December;. The argon retention of obsidian was studied with respect to the degree of hydra

Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials. Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old. It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium K ,decays to the gas Argon as Argon Ar By comparing the proportion of K to Ar in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K, the date that the rock formed can be determined.

How Does the Reaction Work? Potassium K is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust 2. One out of every 10, Potassium atoms is radioactive Potassium K

## Potassium-argon dating method

The potassium-argon K-Ar isotopic dating method is especially useful for determining the age of lavas. Developed in the s, it was important in developing the theory of plate tectonics and in calibrating the geologic time scale. Potassium occurs in two stable isotopes 41 K and 39 K and one radioactive isotope 40 K.

The only requirement to get a good radiometric K–Ar date is that the system be closed to the isotopes involved in dating. Brent Dalrymple, author.

Donald L. Turner, Fourteen dates are reported which are stratigraphically related to age-diagnostic marine megafossil assemblages. Problems associated with dating volcanic glass shards by the K-Ar method are discussed. Shibboleth Sign In. OpenAthens Sign In. Institutional Sign In. Sign In or Create an Account. User Tools.

## Potassium-Argon Dating Methods

Potassium—argon dating , abbreviated K—Ar dating , is a radiometric dating method used in geochronology and archaeology. It is based on measurement of the product of the radioactive decay of an isotope of potassium K into argon Ar. Potassium is a common element found in many materials, such as micas , clay minerals , tephra , and evaporites.

One of the most widely used dating methods is the potassium-argon method, which has been applied to ‘dating‘ rocks for decades, especially.

Potassium-Argon dating has the advantage that the argon is an inert gas that does not react chemically and would not be expected to be included in the solidification of a rock, so any found inside a rock is very likely the result of radioactive decay of potassium. Since the argon will escape if the rock is melted, the dates obtained are to the last molten time for the rock.

Since potassium is a constituent of many common minerals and occurs with a tiny fraction of radioactive potassium, it finds wide application in the dating of mineral deposits. The feldspars are the most abundant minerals on the Earth, and potassium is a constituent of orthoclase , one common form of feldspar. Potassium occurs naturally as three isotopes.

The radioactive potassium decays by two modes, by beta decay to 40 Ca and by electron capture to 40 Ar. There is also a tiny fraction of the decay to 40 Ar that occurs by positron emission. The calcium pathway is not often used for dating since there is such an abundance of calcium in minerals, but there are some special cases where it is useful. The decay constant for the decay to 40 Ar is 5.

## Radiometric Dating and Paleontologic Zonation

Jul 28, which has the first place, york, potassium-argon and techniques of the ratio of radioactive decay. Dating, the age of the rocks cool, all radiometric dating kfc dating rocks. Claim: part of potassium, especially.

A technique for the potassium-argon dating of high potassium feldspars of less than years age is described. The technique is applied to.

For more than three decades potassium-argon K-Ar and argon-argon Ar-Ar dating of rocks has been crucial in underpinning the billions of years for Earth history claimed by evolutionists. Dalrymple argues strongly:. Hualalai basalt, Hawaii AD 1. Etna basalt, Sicily BC 0. Etna basalt, Sicily AD 0. Lassen plagioclase, California AD 0.

Akka Water Fall flow, Hawaii Pleistocene Stromboli, Italy, volcanic bomb September 23, 2. Etna basalt, Sicily May 0. Ngauruhoe, New Zealand, has yielded “ages” up to 3. Helens crater, which yielded a 0. It is not simply “magmatic” argon. Further confirmation comes from diamonds, which form in the mantle and are carried by explosive volcanism into the upper crust and to the surface.

## Department of Anthropology

Nature July 29, published Leakey-Evernden-Curtis on new dating which indicated that the usual million years for the evolution of man and culture might be extended to 1,, years or more. Knowing our readers are interested in tbe significance of the new dating for theories of human evolution, we asked 26 scholars to suppose that these dates are correct and to write a comment for CA. A few responded, but others refused to do so until the dates can be verified.

ERICKSON, G. P., and J. L. KULP: Potassium-argon measurements on the Palisades sill, New Jersey. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 72, (). — — K-Ar dating of.

Since the early twentieth century scientists have found ways to accurately measure geological time. The discovery of radioactivity in uranium by the French physicist, Henri Becquerel , in paved the way of measuring absolute time. Shortly after Becquerel’s find, Marie Curie , a French chemist, isolated another highly radioactive element, radium. The realisation that radioactive materials emit rays indicated a constant change of those materials from one element to another.

The New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford , suggested in that the exact age of a rock could be measured by means of radioactivity. For the first time he was able to exactly measure the age of a uranium mineral. When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old. These scientists and many more after them discovered that atoms of uranium, radium and several other radioactive materials are unstable and disintegrate spontaneously and consistently forming atoms of different elements and emitting radiation, a form of energy in the process.

The original atom is referred to as the parent and the following decay products are referred to as the daughter. For example: after the neutron of a rubidiumatom ejects an electron, it changes into a strontium atom, leaving an additional proton. Carbon is a very special element. In combination with hydrogen it forms a component of all organic compounds and is therefore fundamental to life. Willard F.