Argon argon dating lab

A strong and emerging component of the lab activity is also concerned with exploring the rare-gas isotope behavior in natural/synthetic minerals by means of P-T-).

What simplifies things is that potassium is a reactive metal and argon is an inert gas: Potassium is always tightly locked up in minerals whereas argon is not part of any minerals. So assuming that no air gets into a mineral grain when it first forms, it has zero argon content.

But micas, plagioclase, hornblende, clays, and other minerals can yield good data, as can whole-rock analyses.

Young rocks have low levels of The rock samples are crushed, in clean equipment, to a size that preserves whole grains of the mineral to be dated, then sieved to help concentrate these grains of the target mineral.

That is, a fresh mineral grain has its K-Ar "clock" set at zero.

The rock sample to be dated must be chosen very carefully.

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