Isotope dating of rocks

Attempts to transform these ratios into dates are where this becomes problematic.Assigning a date requires that the rate at which the parent decays into the daughter element has been the same throughout the rock’s history.

Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a way to find out how old something is.It is similar to assuming that the constriction in an hourglass has always been the same diameter, and the same number of sand grains passes every minute.Radioisotope decay rates are renowned for constancy under normal conditions, so this assumption appears reasonable.The "age" or "date" is calculated from the amount of the daughter isotope produced by radioactive decay of the parent isotope.In Grand Canyon, the "date" of metamorphism of the basalt lavas to form these Brahma amphibolites has been determined as 1690-1710 Ma (million years ago), based on U-Pb dating of minerals in the overlying Vishnu Schist and underlying Rama Schist that formed during the metamorphism.

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