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To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.If so, then the K-Ar and Ar-Ar "dating" of crustal rocks would be similarly questionable.When muscovite (a common mineral in crustal rocks) is heated to 740°-860°C under high Ar pressures for periods of 3 to 10.5 hours it absorbs significant quantities of Ar, producing K-Ar "ages" of up to 5 billion years, and the absorbed Ar is indistinguishable from radiogenic argon ( In other experiments muscovite was synthesized from a colloidal gel under similar temperatures and Ar pressures, the resultant muscovite retaining up to 0.5 wt% Ar at 640°C and a vapor pressure of 4,000 atmospheres.Ar (argon), the atom typically remains trapped within the lattice because it is larger than the spaces between the other atoms in a mineral crystal.But it can escape into the surrounding region when the right conditions are met, such as change in pressure and/or temperature.Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

However, are all other rocks in the earth's crust also susceptible to "contamination" by excess emanating from the mantle?

Time since recrystallization is calculated by measuring the ratio of the amount of The quickly cooled lavas that make nearly ideal samples for K–Ar dating also preserve a record of the direction and intensity of the local magnetic field as the sample cooled past the Curie temperature of iron.

The geomagnetic polarity time scale was calibrated largely using K–Ar dating.

Dalrymple, referring to metamorphism and melting of rocks in the crust, has commented: "If the rock is heated or melted at some later time, then some or all the In a recent study 128 Ar isotopic analyses were obtained from ten profiles across biotite grains in high-grade metamorphic rocks, and apparent Ar-Ar "ages" within individual grains ranged from 161Ma-514Ma.

is known to cause grave problems in regional geochronology studies.

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Potassium–argon dating, abbreviated K–Ar dating, is a radiometric dating method used in geochronology and archaeology.

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