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See all related overviews in Oxford Reference ». An absolute dating technique similar to radiocarbon dating but applicable to much older deposits.


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Potassium-argon datingmethod of determining the time of origin of rocks by measuring the ratio of radioactive argon to radioactive potassium in the rock. This dating method is based upon the decay of radioactive potassium to radioactive argon in minerals and rocks; potassium also decays to calcium Thus, the ratio of argon and potassium and radiogenic calcium to potassium in a mineral or rock is a measure of the age of the sample.

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The calcium-potassium age method is seldom used, however, because of the great abundance of nonradiogenic calcium in minerals or rocks, which masks the presence of radiogenic calcium. On the other hand, the abundance of argon in the Earth is relatively small because of its escape to the atmosphere during processes associated with volcanism.

The potassium-argon dating method has been used to measure a wide variety of ages. The potassium-argon age of some meteorites is as old as 4,, years, and volcanic rocks as young as 20, years old have been measured by this method.

Potassium-argon dating benefits

Potassium-argon dating. Fast Facts. Additional Info.

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K/ar dating

on This Topic. This is possible in potassium-argon K-Ar dating, for example, because most minerals do not take argon into their structures initially Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. This is possible in potassium-argon K-Ar dating, for example, because most minerals do not take argon into their structures initially.

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In rubidium-strontium dating, micas exclude strontium when they form but accept much rubidium. In uranium-lead U-Pb dating of zircon, the zircon is found to exclude initial lead…. The radioactive decay scheme involving the breakdown of potassium of mass 40 40 K to argon gas of mass 40 40 Ar formed the basis of the first widely used isotopic dating method.

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Since radiogenic argon was first detected in by the American geophysicist…. Potassium—argon dating has made it possible to establish that the earliest remains of man and his artifacts in East Africa go back at least 2, years, and probably further.

Potassium argon dating strengths and weaknesses

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Potassium argon dating strengths and weaknesses Buy quaternary palaeoenvironmental data and limitations of radiometric clock was important in a volcanic rock.


Potassium, an alkali metal, the Earth's eighth most abundant element is common in many rocks and rock-forming minerals.


Potassium-argon dating archeology Application of Watch as old and young partners are fucking each other decaying into argon in geochronology lays the range in layers are heated to the commonly used to argon.