Radioactive dating example problems
To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.
Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.
Bowen also demonstrated that if a mineral remained in the melt after it had crystallized, it would react with the remaining melt and produce the next mineral in the sequence shown in Figure 3.6.
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Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.
This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.
Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.
Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.
As the crystallization process continues, the composition of the melt (liquid portion of a magma, excluding any solid material continually changes.