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Potassium-argon dating - definition of potassium-argon dating by The Free Dictionary

Argon-Argon Dating

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.

This is possible in potassium-argon K-Ar dating, for example, because most minerals do not take argon into their structures initially.

Define potassium-argon dating. potassium-argon dating synonyms, potassium- argon dating pronunciation, potassium-argon dating translation, English. K-Ar dating synonyms, K-Ar dating pronunciation, K-Ar dating translation, English dictionary definition of K-Ar dating. n a technique for determining the age of. potassium-argon dating definition: an indirect method of dating fossils, esp. those in very ancient volcanic rock, by using potassic minerals in the same strata as.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. In rubidium-strontium dating, micas exclude strontium when they form but accept much rubidium.

Definition potassium-argon dating

In uranium-lead U-Pb dating of zircon, the zircon is found to exclude initial lead…. The radioactive decay scheme involving the breakdown of potassium of mass 40 40 K to argon gas of mass 40 40 Ar formed the basis of the first widely used isotopic dating method. Since radiogenic argon was first detected in by the American geophysicist….

Potassium—argon dating has made it possible to establish that the earliest remains of man and his artifacts in East Africa go back at least 2, years, and probably further. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox!

Learn how potassium-argon isotopic dating works and how it is years, meaning that half of the 40K atoms are gone after that span of time. Potassium-argon dating definition: a technique for determining the age of minerals based on the occurrence in natural | Meaning, pronunciation, translations. geological dating that relies on the proportions of radioactive potassium in a rock sample and its decay product, argon.

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More About. Two are stable, while the radioactive isotope 40 K decays with a half-life of 1. Conversion to stable 40 Ca occurs via electron emission beta decay in Conversion to stable 40 Ar occurs via electron capture in the remaining Argon, being a noble gasis a minor component of most rock samples of geochronological interest: it does not bind with other atoms in a crystal lattice.

When 40 K decays to 40 Ar argonthe atom typically remains trapped within the lattice because it is larger than the spaces between the other atoms in a mineral crystal.

Entrained argon—diffused argon that fails to escape from the magma—may again become trapped in crystals when magma cools to become solid rock again. After the recrystallization of magma, more 40 K will decay and 40 Ar will again accumulate, along with the entrained argon atoms, trapped in the mineral crystals.

ABSOLUTE DATING WITH POTASSIUM ARGON

Measurement of the quantity of 40 Ar atoms is used to compute the amount of time that has passed since a rock sample has solidified. Despite 40 Ca being the favored daughter nuclide, it is rarely useful in dating because calcium is so common in the crust, with 40 Ca being the most abundant isotope.

Thus, the amount of calcium originally present is not known and can vary enough to confound measurements of the small increases produced by radioactive decay. The ratio of the amount of 40 Ar to that of 40 K is directly related to the time elapsed since the rock was cool enough to trap the Ar by the equation.

Potassium-argon definition is - being or relating to a method of dating paleontological or geological materials based on the radioactive decay of potassium to.

The scale factor 0. In practice, each of these values may be expressed as a proportion of the total potassium present, as only relative, not absolute, quantities are required.

To obtain the content ratio of isotopes 40 Ar to 40 K in a rock or mineral, the amount of Ar is measured by mass spectrometry of the gases released when a rock sample is volatilized in vacuum.

The potassium is quantified by flame photometry or atomic absorption spectroscopy. The amount of 40 K is rarely measured directly.

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. a method for estimating the age of a mineral or rock, based on measurement of the rate of decay of radioactive potassium into argon. potassium sulphate, potassium thiocyanate, potassium, potassium, potassium, potassium-argon dating, potation, potato, potato apple, potato. Potassium–argon dating, abbreviated K–Ar dating, is a radiometric dating method used in geochronology and archaeology. It is based on measurement of the.

The amount of 40 Ar is also measured to assess how much of the total argon is atmospheric in origin. Both flame photometry and mass spectrometry are destructive tests, so particular care is needed to ensure that the aliquots used are truly representative of the sample. Ar—Ar dating is a similar technique which compares isotopic ratios from the same portion of the sample to avoid this problem.

Potassium-Argon Dating Methods

Due to the long half-life of 40 Kthe technique is most applicable for dating minerals and rocks more thanyears old. For shorter timescales, it is unlikely that enough 40 Ar will have had time to accumulate in order to be accurately measurable.

K—Ar dating was instrumental in the development of the geomagnetic polarity time scale.

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