Importance of potassium argon dating

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This work explains these erroneous ages by « excess » argon (radiogenic and/or primeval) in volcanic rocks under study.

To give an example of the complexity of this problem, this paper presents a study of the most popular dating method, potassium/argon.It is important to remember that this method give the age of the mineral, not the artifact.So we can't pick up an artifact that's made from volcanic rock and get a potassium argon date on the artifact.This method is useful for archaeologists working in areas where volcanic eruptions have left layers of ash above and below an archaeological deposit.The volcanic layers can be dated, and the archaeological material will date to the period between those two volcanic eruptions.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.

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