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. In these materials, the decay product 40 Ar is able to escape the liquid molten rock, but starts to accumulate when the rock solidifies recrystallizes. The amount of argon sublimation that occurs is a function of the purity of the sample, the composition of the mother material, and a number of other factors. Time since recrystallization is calculated by measuring the ratio of the amount of 40 Ar accumulated to the amount of 40 K remaining.
The remaining 38 Ar is from the spike, and the remaining 40 Ar is radiogenic. Because the spike is precisely known, the 40 Ar is determined by comparison to it. Variations in this data may point to errors anywhere in the process, which is why all the steps of preparation are recorded in detail.
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K-Ar analyses cost several hundred dollars per sample and take a week or two. A variant of the K-Ar method gives better data by making the overall measurement process simpler. The key is to put the mineral sample in a neutron beam, which converts potassium into argon Because 39 Ar has a very short half-life, it is guaranteed to be absent in the sample beforehand, so it's a clear indicator of the potassium content.
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The advantage is that all the information needed for dating the sample comes from the same argon measurement. Accuracy is greater and errors are lower. This method is commonly called "argon-argon dating. The physical procedure for 40 Ar- 39 Ar dating is the same except for three differences:. These effects must be corrected, and the process is intricate enough to require computers. The Ar-Ar method is considered superior, but some of its problems are avoided in the older K-Ar method.
Also, the cheaper K-Ar method can be used for screening or reconnaissance purposes, saving Ar-Ar for the most demanding or interesting problems.
These dating methods have been under constant improvement for more than 50 years. The learning curve has been long and is far from over today.
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With each increment in quality, more subtle sources of error have been found and taken into account. Good materials and skilled hands can yield ages that are certain to within 1 percent, even in rocks only 10, years old, in which quantities of 40 Ar are vanishingly small. I enjoy cooking especially good old Southern food lol. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and family and close friends. I try to stay active as much as I can, but that doesn't always work out well.
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Jan 31, The potassium-argon (K-Ar) isotopic datingmethod is especially useful for determining the age of lavas. Developed in the s, it was important in developing the theory of plate tectonicsand in calibrating the geologic time scale. Arkansas free dating site for singles in United States! Join one of the best online dating site among other free dating sites and meet single men and women in Arkansas (United States). Meeting members at our dating service is totally free. Just add your profile, browse other personals of peple seeking like you for online dating, love and romance.
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A-Z of Archaeology: 'K - Potassium/ Argon Dating' (Special Edition)
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