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Posted by / 17-Oct-2017 11:21

3 methods of dating rock

The level of nitrogen gradually reduces as the bone decays.Absolute dating is not possible with this method because the rate at which the nitrogen content declines depends on the surrounding temperature, moisture, soil chemicals and bacteria.Argon is gas that gradually builds up within rocks from the decay of radioactive potassium.It is initially formed in the molten rock that lies beneath the Earth’s crust.

Argon then starts to re-accumulate at a constant rate in the newly formed rock that is created after the eruption.The age of volcanic rocks and ash can be determined by measuring the proportions of argon (in the form of argon-40) and radioactive potassium within them.Each volcanic eruption produces a new deposit of ash and rock.This damage is in the form of tiny marks called fission tracks.When volcanic rocks and minerals are formed, they do not contain fission tracks.

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This relatively new technique was developed in order to achieve more accurate dates than those obtained from the potassium-argon method.