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K ar dating method

Argon loss occurs when radiogenic K by a fast neutron reaction) can be used as a proxy for potassium.Therefore, unlike the conventional K/Ar technique, absolute abundances need not be measured.A clastic sedimentary rock is made up of older rock and mineral fragments, and when the rock forms it is almost certain that all of the fragments already have daughter isotopes in them.Furthermore, in almost all cases, the fragments have come from a range of source rocks that all formed at different times.The quantity of potassium in a rock or mineral is variable proportional to the amount of silica present.Therefore, mafic rocks and minerals often contain less potassium than an equal amount of silicic rock or mineral.

Potassium, an alkali metal, the Earth's eighth most abundant element is common in many rocks and rock-forming minerals.It is also based on the premise that when the atoms of an element decay within a mineral or a rock, they stay there and don’t escape to the surrounding rock, water, or air.One of the isotope pairs widely used in geology is the decay of K is a radioactive isotope of potassium that is present in very small amounts in all minerals that have potassium in them.An example is shown in Figure 8.16; radiocarbon dates from wood fragments in glacial sediments have been used to estimate the time of the last glacial advance along the Strait of Georgia. Figure 8.16 Radiocarbon dates on wood fragments in glacial sediments in the Strait of Georgia [SE after Clague, J, 1976, Quadra Sand and its relation to late Wisconsin glaciation of southeast British Columbia, Can.

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The red-blue bars represent 40K and the green-yellow bars represent 40Ar.

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