Potassiu m argon dating

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The useful fact about these two substances is that at normal temperatures, potassium is a solid, but argon is a gas.Therefore, during volcanic eruptions, any argon that is present escapes from the rock.

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Other isotopes with shorter half-lives can also be used to date objects- however, each method has its own drawbacks. Potassium-argon dating is a method for estimating the age of volcanic rocks by measuring the ratio of potassium-40 to argon-40 present.The method is based on the fact that the potassium-40 isotope of potassium decays over time to form argon-40.But after the rock solidifies, any potassium-40 that is present continues to decay, and the argon-40 that is produced cannot escape from the rock.Thus, geologists use potassium-argon dating to measure the age of volcanic rocks.Time since recrystallization is calculated by measuring the ratio of the amount of 40Ar accumulated to the amount of 40K remaining.

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