Radioactive dating metamorphic rocks
These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.The uranium-235 to lead-207 decay series is marked by a half-life of 704 million years.Using this process geologists are able to assign actual ages with known degrees of error to specific geologic events.By combining knowledge gained using both relative and absolute dating processes geologists have been able to produce the geologic time scale.
Making this processes even more difficult is the fact that due to plate tectonics some rock layers have been uplifted into mountains and eroded while others have subsided to form basins and be buried by younger sediments.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Uranium is not the only isotope that can be used to date rocks; we do see additional methods of radiometric dating based on the decay of different isotopes.For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.
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When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.