Potassium dating rocks

Because of such contamination, the less than 50-year-old lava flows at Mt.Ngauruhoe, New Zealand (), yield a rubidium-strontium “age” of 133 million years, a samarium-neodymium “age” of 197 million years, and a uranium-lead “age” of 3.908 billion years!8 Physicists have carefully measured the radioactive decay rates of parent radioisotopes in laboratories over the last 100 or so years and have found them to be essentially constant (within the measurement error margins).Furthermore, they have not been able to significantly change these decay rates by heat, pressure, or electrical and magnetic fields.

Or inflowing water may have mixed isotopes into the rocks.

Part 2 explains how scientists run into problems when they make assumptions about what happened .

An hourglass is a helpful analogy to explain how geologists calculate the ages of rocks.

We find places on the North Rim where volcanoes erupted after the Canyon was formed, sending lavas cascading over the walls and down into the Canyon.

Obviously, these eruptions took place very recently, after the Canyon’s layers were deposited ().

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