How reliable is radiometric dating
55-57, (1987), gives us an idea of the tremendous complexity of the processes that occur when magma solidifies.
The general idea is that many different minerals are formed, which differ from one another in composition, even though they come from the same magma.
This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.
Geologists assert that older dates are found deeper down in the geologic column, which they take as evidence that radiometric dating is giving true ages, since it is apparent that rocks that are deeper must be older.
Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.
Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.
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But at the same time, it will be enriched in the elements contained in the later forming minerals, namely sodium and potassium.Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.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.This reaction will continue until the last mineral in the series, biotite mica, is formed.This left branch is called a discontinuous reaction series because each mineral has a different crystalline structure.