What is uranium 238 used for dating rocks

There was probably radiogenic lead in the mineralizing fluids plus possibly lead leached out of the host rocks.Fortunately, there is Lead 204, which we can be sure has no radiogenic component.Also, since the lead isotopes differ by less than 2% in mass, fractionation has been insignificant. We can say, plot Pb-207/Pb-204 versus U-235/Pb-204 and derive the age from an isochron plot, exactly the way Rb-Sr dating works.

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U-235 decays much faster than U-238 (700 my and 4500 my, respectively).

Also, Lead 206 forms only from the decay of U-238 and Lead 207 only from the decay of U-235.

With a little luck some of the points will plot close to the true age, increasing the precision of the date.

U-Pb ages are accurate to within less than 1 per cent, highly resistant to metamorphism, and are considered the most precise ages now available.

Argon in molten rock can just bubble out and escape.

Once the rock cools and solidifies, Argon that is formed by radioactive decay is trapped inside.Carbon Dating Another important dating technique is Carbon-14 dating.This is used to date the remains of things that were once living.This process is called radiometric or radioactive dating.Radiometric dating is possible because the radioactive decay of large numbers of radioactive atoms follows a predictable pattern.Uranium minerals themselves are too uncommon to be very useful in dating.

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