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How do we know the age of the Earth?

How Old is the Earth: Radiometric Dating

9 Jul The ages measured for Earth's oldest rocks and oldest crystals show that the Earth is at least billion years in age but do not reveal the exact age of Earth's formation. The best age for the Earth ( Ga) is based on old, presumed single- stage leads coupled with the Pb ratios in troilite from iron meteorites. Seriation is the ordering of objects according to their age. It is a relative dating method. In a landmark study, archaeologist James Ford used seriation to determine the chronological order of American Indian pottery styles in the Mississippi Valley. Artifact styles such as pottery types are seriated by analyzing their abundances. 6 Jan Most scientists and many Christians believe that the radiometric dating methods prove that the earth is billion years old. Recent research shows otherwise. Awesome Science Volumes 1 - DVD Pack Shop Now. Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own.

Until the 18th century, this question was principally in the hands of theologians, who based their calculations on biblical chronology. Bishop James Ussher, a 17th-century Irish cleric, for example, calculated that creation occurred in B.

There were many other such estimates, but they invariably resulted in an Earth only a few thousand years old. By the late 18th century, some naturalists had begun to look closely at the ancient rocks of the Earth. They observed that every rock formation, no matter how ancient, appeared to be formed from still older rocks. Comparing these rocks with the products of present erosion, sedimentation, and earth movements, these earliest geologists soon concluded that the time required to form and sculpt the present Earth was immeasurably longer than had previously been thought.

By the mid- to late s, geologists, physicists, and chemists were searching for ways to quantify the age of the Earth. Lord Kelvin and Clarence King calculated the length of time required for the Earth to cool from a white-hot liquid state; they eventually settled on 24 million years. There were other estimates but the calculations were hotly disputed because they all were obviously flawed by uncertainties in both the initial assumptions and the data. Unbeknownst to the scientists engaged in this controversy, however, geology was about to be profoundly affected by the same discoveries that revolutionized physics at the turn of the 20th century.

The discovery of radioactivity in by Henri Becquerel, Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth isolation of radium by Marie Curie shortly thereafter, the discovery of the radioactive decay laws in by Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy, the discovery of isotopes in by Soddy, and the development of the quantitative mass spectrograph in by J.

Thomson all formed the foundation of modern isotopic dating methods. But it was not until the late s that all the pieces were in place; by then the phenomenon of radioactivity was understood, most of the naturally occurring isotopes had been identified and their abundance determined, instrumentation of the necessary sensitivity had been developed, isotopic tracers were available in the required quantities and purity, and the half-lives of the long-lived radioactive isotopes were reasonably well known.

By the early s, most of the major radiometric dating techniques now in use had been tested and their general limitations were known.

No technique, of course, is ever completely perfected and refinement continues to this day, but for more than two decades radiometric dating methods have been used to measure reliably the ages Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth rocks, the Earth, meteorites, and, sincethe Moon. Radiometric dating is based on the decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes that occur naturally in rocks and minerals.

These parent isotopes decay to stable daughter isotopes at rates that can be measured experimentally and are effectively constant over time regardless of physical or chemical conditions. There are a number of long-lived radioactive isotopes used in radiometric dating, and a variety of ways they are used to determine the ages of rocks, minerals, and organic materials. Some of the isotopic parents, end-product daughters, and half-lives involved are listed in Table 1.

Sometimes these decay schemes are used individually to determine an age e. Each of the various decay schemes and dating methods has unique characteristics that make it applicable to particular geologic situations. For example, a method based on a parent isotope with a very long half-life, such as Sm, is not very useful for measuring the age of link rock only a few million years old because insufficient amounts of the daughter isotope accumulate in this short time.

Likewise, the 14 C method can only be used to determine the ages of certain types of young organic material and is useless on old granites.

Some methods work only on closed systems, whereas others work on open systems. One of the primary functions of the dating specialist sometimes called a geochronologist is to select the applicable method for the particular problem to be solved, and to design the experiment in such a way that there will be checks on the reliability of the results. Some of the methods have internal checks, so that the data themselves provide good evidence of reliability or lack thereof.

Commonly, a radiometric age is checked by other evidence, just click for source as the relative order of rock units as observed in the field, age measurements based on other decay schemes, or ages on several samples from the same rock unit. Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth

Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth

The main point is that the ages of rock formations are rarely based on a single, isolated age measurement. On the contrary, radiometric ages are verified whenever possible and practical, and are evaluated by considering other relevant data. My purpose here is not to review and discuss all of the dating methods in use.

Instead, I describe http://24dating.me/kexi/how-about-we-hookup-promo-code.php only the three principal methods. These are the three methods most commonly used by scientists to determine the ages of rocks because they have the broadest range of applicability and are highly reliable when properly used.

The K-Ar method is probably the most widely used radiometric dating technique available to geologists. It is based on the radioactivity of 40 K, which undergoes dual decay by electron capture to 40 Ar and by beta emission to 40 Ca. The ratio of 40 K atoms that decay to 40 Ar to those that decay to 40 Ca is 0.

Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth

Thus, in principle, while a rock is molten the 40 Ar formed by the decay of 40 K escapes from the liquid. After the source has solidified and cooled, the radiogenic 40 Ar is trapped within the solid crystals and accumulates with the passage of time. If the rock is heated or melted at some later time, then some or all of the 40 Ar may be released and the clock partially or totally reset. In the process of analysis, a correction must be made for the atmospheric argon 2 present in most minerals and in the vacuum apparatus used for the analyses.

What is left is the amount of radiogenic 40 Ar.

This is important because the presence of the three mineral phases allows investigation of isotopic dates using samples that provide a great separation in concentrations between parent and daughter nuclides. Click Earth is like a gigantic magnet. This means that occasionally the unstable isotope will change its number of protons, neutrons, or both. Modern counting instruments, available for more than two decades, are capable of counting the 14 C activity in a sample as old as 35, years in an ordinary laboratory, and as old as 50, years in laboratories constructed with special shielding against cosmic radiation.

This correction can be Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth very accurately and has no appreciable effect on the calculated age unless the atmospheric argon is a very large proportion of the total argon in the analysis. The geochronologist takes this factor into account when assigning experimental errors to the calculated ages. The K-Ar method has two principal requirements.

First, there must be no argon other than that of atmospheric composition trapped in the rock or mineral when it forms. Second, the rock or mineral must not lose or gain either potassium or argon from the time of its formation to the time of analysis. By many experiments over the past three decades, geologists have learned which types of rocks and minerals meet these requirements and which do not.

The K-Ar clock works primarily on igneous rocks, i. It does not work well on sedimentary rocks because these rocks are composed of debris from older rocks. It does not work well on most metamorphic rocks because this type of rock usually has a complex history, often involving one or more heatings after initial formation. The method does work on certain minerals that retain argon well, such as muscovite, biotite, and volcanic feldspar, but not on other minerals, such as http://24dating.me/kexi/hookup-a-woman-with-chronic-illness.php from granite rocks, because they leak their argon even at low temperatures.

The method works well on subaerial lava flows, but not on most submarine pillow basalts because they commonly trap excess 40 Ar when they solidify. One of the principal tasks of the geochronologist is to select the type of material used for a dating analysis. A great deal of effort goes into the sample selection, and the choices are made before the analysis, not on the basis of link results.

Mistakes do occur but they are usually caught by the various checks employed in the well-designed experiment. The Rb-Sr method is based on the radioactivity of 87 Rb, which undergoes simple beta decay to 87 Sr with a half-life of Rubidium is a major constituent of very few minerals, but the chemistry of rubidium is similar to that of potassium and sodium, both of which do form many common minerals, and so rubidium occurs as a trace element in most rocks.

Because of the very long half-life of Based On Radiometric Hookup How Old Is Earth Rb, Rb-Sr dating is used mostly on rocks older than about 50 to million years. This method is very useful on rocks with complex histories because the daughter product, strontium, does not escape from minerals nearly so easily as does argon. As a result, a sample can obey the closed-system requirements for Rb-Sr dating over a wider range of geologic conditions than can a sample for K-Ar dating.

Unlike argon, which escapes easily and entirely from most molten rocks, strontium is present as a trace element in most minerals when they form.

Why Earth Is Old, Without Radiometric Dating, YEC Debunked - Stuart Robbins

For this reason, simple Rb-Sr ages can be calculated only for those minerals that are high in rubidium and contain a negligible amount of initial strontium. In such minerals, the calculated age is insensitive to the initial strontium amount and composition. For most rocks, however, initial strontium is present in significant amounts, so dating is done by the isochron method, which completely eliminates the problem of initial strontium. In the Rb-Sr isochron method, several three or more minerals from the same rock, or several cogenetic rocks with different rubidium and strontium contents, are analyzed and the data plotted on an isochron diagram Figure 2.

The 87 Rb and 87 Sr contents are normalized to the amount of 86 Sr, which is not a radiogenic daughter product. The intercept of this line with the ordinate represents the isotopic composition of the initial strontium.

From then on, as each atom of 87 Rb decays to 87 Sr, the points will follow the paths 3 shown by the arrows. The intercept of the line on the ordinate gives the isotopic composition of the initial strontium present when the rock formed. Note that the intercepts of lines a-b-c and a'-b'-c' are identical, so the initial strontium isotopic composition can be determined from this intercept regardless of the age of the rock.

Note that the Rb-Sr isochron method requires no knowledge or assumptions about either the isotopic composition or the amount of the initial daughter isotope — in fact, these are learned from the method.

The rocks or minerals must have remained systems closed to rubidium and strontium since their formation; if this condition is not true, then the data will not plot on an isochron.

Also, if either the initial isotopic composition of strontium is not uniform or the samples analyzed are not cogenetic, then the data will not fall on a straight line.

Dating Rocks and Fossils Using Geologic Methods | Learn Science at Scitable

As the reader can easily see, the Link isochron method is elegantly self-checking. If the requirements of the method have been violated, the data clearly show link. An example of a Rb-Sr isochron is shown in Figure 3which includes analyses of five separate phases from the meteorite Juvinas 3.

The data form an isochron indicating an age for Juvinas of 4. This meteorite has also been dated by the Sm-Nd isochron method, which works like the Rb-Sr isochron method, at 4. The U-Pb method relies on the decays of U and U. These two parent isotopes undergo series decay involving several intermediate radioactive daughter isotopes before the stable daughter product, lead Table 1is reached.

If necessary, a correction can be made for the initial lead in these systems using Pb as an index. If these three age calculations agree, then the age represents the true age of the rock.

There seems to be some difficulty in determining the decay constants for the K 40 -Ar 40 system. Earth Day Global warming Human link on the environment. This rate is given in terms of a " half-life ", or the amount of time it takes half of a mass of that radioactive material to break down into its "decay product". This correction can be made very accurately and has no appreciable effect on the calculated age unless the atmospheric argon is a very large proportion of the total argon in the analysis.

Lead, however, is a volatile element, and so lead loss is commonly a problem. As a result, simple U-Pb ages are often discordant. The U-Pb concordia-discordia method circumvents the problem of lead loss in discordant systems and provides an internal check on reliability. This method involves the U and U decays and is used in such minerals as zircon, a common accessory mineral in igneous rocks, that contains uranium but read more or negligible initial lead.

This latter requirement can be checked, if necessary, by checking for the presence of Pb, which would indicate the presence and amount of initial lead. The location of the point on concordia depends only on the age of the sample. If at some later date say, 2. At any time after the episodic lead loss say, 1.

Dating Rocks and Fossils Using Geologic Methods

This chord is called discordia. If we now consider what would happen to several different samples, say different zircons, from the same rock, each of which lost differing amounts of lead during the episode, we find that at any time after the lead loss, say today, all of the points for these samples will lie on discordia. The upper intercept of discordia with concordia gives the original here of the rock, or 3.

There are several hypotheses for the interpretation of the lower intercept, but the most common interpretation is that it indicates the age of the event that caused the lead loss, or 1 billion years in Figure 4. Note that this method is not only self-checking, but it also works on open systems. What about uranium loss? Uranium is so refractory that its loss link not seem to be a problem.

If uranium were lost, however, the concordia-discordia plot would indicate that also. The U-Pb concordia-discordia method is one of the most powerful and reliable dating methods available. It is especially resistant to heating and metamorphic events and thus is extremely useful in rocks with complex histories.