Benefits of radiometric dating

Ordinarily, these reactions are not complete so that various amounts of each of these minerals may exist at any given time.The right branch of the reaction series is a continuum in which the earliest formed calcium-rich feldspar crystals react with the sodium ions contained in the melt to become progressively more sodium rich.This left branch is called a discontinuous reaction series because each mineral has a different crystalline structure.Recall that olivine is composed of a single tetrahedra and that the other minerals in this sequence are composed of single chains, double chains, and sheet structures, respectively.Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.A number of processes could cause the parent substance to be depleted at the top of the magma chamber, or the daughter product to be enriched, both of which would cause the lava erupting earlier to appear very old according to radiometric dating, and lava erupting later to appear younger.As the crystallization process continues, the composition of the melt (liquid portion of a magma, excluding any solid material continually changes.For example, at the stage when about 50 percent of the magma has solidified, the melt will be greatly depleted in iron, magnesium, and calcium, because these elements are found in the earliest formed minerals.

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Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.

These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio.

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  2. eric   •  

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  3. eric   •  

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