What is argon dating
The monitor flux can then be extrapolated to the samples, thereby determining their flux.This flux is known as the 'J' and can be determined by the following equation: As the table above illustrates, several "undesirable" reactions occur on isotopes present within every geologic sample.Argon-36 in the sample accounts for any air contamination.
Visit Stack Exchange Earth Science Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for those interested in the geology, meteorology, oceanography, and environmental sciences. Sign up to join this community The Washington Post article Scientists discover hundreds of footprints left at the dawn of modern humanity describes the geological dating of stratified layers of mud by analyzing and dating minerals within each layer.And when I look at the Wikipedia article, the discussion is so technical and defensive that I can't actually picture what is going on. As noted in the comments the wikipedia articles (at the time this question was submitted) are contradictory.There are quite a few steps to the logic of how argon-argon dating works but none are too complicated, although I won't go into all of the possible interferences.Argon loss and excess argon are two common problems that may cause erroneous ages to be determined.Argon loss occurs when radiogenic K by a fast neutron reaction) can be used as a proxy for potassium.
Because of this, we can assume that the potassium-40:potassium-39 ratio in minerals at any time is a constant. If the argon-40 stays trapped in the crystal and you can measure the ratio of potassium-40 to argon-40, then you know how long it has been since the mineral formed.