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What is potassium argon dating used for

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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.

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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 What is potassium argon dating used for age of the sample. 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.

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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 has the advantage...

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Potassium-argon dating Written By: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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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