Carbon dating and errors

Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning.

Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.

Evidence of this type led them to look into the possibility that a single magma might produce rocks of varying mineral content. Bowen discovered that as magma cools in the laboratory, certain minerals crystallize first.

A pioneering investigation into the crystallization of magma was carried out by N. At successively lower temperature, other minerals begin to crystallize as shown in Figure 3.6.

For this reason, this arrangement of minerals became known as Bowen's reaction series.Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.Geologists assert that older dates are found deeper down in the geologic column, which they take as evidence that radiometric dating is giving true ages, since it is apparent that rocks that are deeper must be older.But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column, which is open to question, this can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later.

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These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio.

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