Historical Geology/Rb

Rubidium and cesium often occur together in nature. Rubidium, however, is more widely scattered and seldom forms a natural mineral; it is found only as an impurity in other minerals, ranging in content up to 5 percent in such minerals as lepidolite , pollucite, and carnallite. Brine samples have also been analyzed that contain up to 6 parts per million of rubidium. In the principal commercial process of rubidium production, small amounts of rubidium are obtained from the mixture of alkali metal carbonates remaining after lithium salts are extracted from lepidolite. Primarily a potassium carbonate, this by-product also contains approximately 23 percent rubidium and 3 percent cesium carbonates. The primary difficulty associated with the production of pure rubidium is that it is always found together with cesium in nature and is also mixed with other alkali metals.


Rb—Sr and U—Pb dating of bentonites H. Baadsgaard and , J. Lerbekmo Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, , 20 8: U—Pb analyses of purified zircons yielded small systematic variations from concordant U—Pb dates. Plotting the data on a concordia diagram, a short linear discordia line intersects the concordia at with an MSWD of 1.

The systematic variation of the four sets of zircon U—Pb data on the concordia plot may be an artifact of the sampling and purification procedure, or could result from natural sample variation from minor contamination.

Physical Geology Exam 4 Study Guide Inclusion is a fragment of one rock type enclosed within another rock type. of the Rb and Sr concentrations and the Sr87/Sr86 ratio. C14 dating is good for wood, charcoal, bones, f lesh, cotton fabrics.

Radiometric dating is a means of determining the “age” of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements. By “age” we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed. Radioactive elements “decay” that is, change into other elements by “half lives. The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives.

To determine the fraction still remaining, we must know both the amount now present and also the amount present when the mineral was formed. Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain: By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.

An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope. For example, uranium is an isotope of uranium , because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus.

Isochron Dating

Rubidium—strontium method The radioactive decay of rubidium 87Rb to strontium 87Sr was the first widely used dating system that utilized the isochron method. Because rubidium is concentrated in crustal rocks, the continents have a much higher abundance of the daughter isotope strontium compared with the stable isotopes. A ratio for average continental crust of about 0.

Feldspar is well suited for dating by the Rb-Sr method, and such dates can therefore be used to study regional variations in its provenance. The K-feldspar/plagioclase ratios of feldspar and their Rb/Sr ratios increase with grainsize.

It rapidly reacts in air to take on a yellowish colour; therefore, it must be protected from oxygen for storage. It does not occur free in nature. Although it is widely distributed with calcium , there are only two principal ores of strontium alone, celestine SrSO4 and strontianite SrCO3. A mineral from a lead mine near the village of Strontian, in Argyll, Scotland , was originally misidentified as a type of barium carbonate , but Adair Crawford and William Cruickshank in noted that it was likely a different substance.

The metal was isolated by Sir Humphry Davy , who electrolyzed a mixture of the moist hydroxide or chloride with mercuric oxide, using a mercury cathode , and then evaporated the mercury from the resultant amalgam. He used the stem of the word strontia to form the name of the element.

Comments on “The Radiometric Dating Game”

Radiometric Radioactive Dating The basic equation of radiometric dating requires that neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product can enter or leave the material after its formation. The possible confounding effects of contamination of parent and daughter isotopes have to be considered, as do the effects of any loss or gain of such isotopes since the sample was created. It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration.

Alternatively, if several different minerals can be dated from the same sample and are assumed to be formed by the same event and were in equilibrium with the reservoir when they formed, they should form an isochron.

Rb‐Sr isotope measurements from the basement Houghton Inlier near Adelaide suggest that they were metamorphosed to upper amphibolite facies grade about m.y. ago. One microcline mineral separate indicates that the minerals are grossly affected by the later Kanmantoo metamorphism (biotite grade.

Slowly and painstakingly, geologists have assembled this record into the generalized geologic time scale shown in Figure 1. This was done by observing the relative age sequence of rock units in a given area and determining, from stratigraphic relations, which rock units are younger, which are older, and what assemblages of fossils are contained in each unit. Using fossils to correlate from area to area, geologists have been able to work out a relative worldwide order of rock formations and to divide the rock record and geologic time into the eras, periods, and epochs shown in Figure 1.

The last modification to the geologic time scale of Figure 1 was in the s, before radiometric dating was fully developed, when the Oligocene Epoch was inserted between the Eocene and the Miocene. Although early stratigraphers could determine the relative order of rock units and fossils, they could only estimate the lengths of time involved by observing the rates of present geologic processes and comparing the rocks produced by those processes with those preserved in the stratigraphic record.

With the development of modern radiometric dating methods in the late s and s, it was possible for the first time not only to measure the lengths of the eras, periods, and epochs but also to check the relative order of these geologic time units. Radiometric dating verified that the relative time scale determined by stratigraphers and paleontologists Figure 1 is absolutely correct, a result that could only have been obtained if both the relative time scale and radiometric dating methods were correct.

Nonetheless, stratigraphy and radiometric dating of Precambrian rocks have clearly demonstrated that the history of the Earth extends billions of years into the past. Radiometric dating has not been applied to just a few selected rocks from the geologic record. Literally many tens of thousands of radiometric age measurements are documented in the scientific literature.

Since beginning operation in the early s, the Geochronology laboratories of the U. Add to this number the age measurements made by from 50 to other laboratories worldwide, and it is easy to see that the number of radiometric ages produced over the past two to three decades and published in the scientific literature must easily exceed ,


This article was originally posted by Dr. Henke to the talk. I have placed it on the web with his permission. But I have not altered content in any substantial degree, and the text has been approved by Dr. Henke prior to being made public.

Recalculation of Rb/Sr and Sm/Nd to isotopic ratios Many of the parent–daughter dating methods (including Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd) are based on similar principles. The parent (radioactive) isotope (87Rb or Sm) decays to the daughter (radiogenic) isotope (87Sr or Nd).

Example[ edit ] For example, consider the case of an igneous rock such as a granite that contains several major Sr-bearing minerals including plagioclase feldspar , K-feldspar , hornblende , biotite , and muscovite. Rubidium substitutes for potassium within the lattice of minerals at a rate proportional to its concentration within the melt. The ideal scenario according to Bowen’s reaction series would see a granite melt begin crystallizing a cumulate assemblage of plagioclase and hornblende i.

This then causes orthoclase and biotite, both K rich minerals into which Rb can substitute, to precipitate. The resulting Rb-Sr ratios and Rb and Sr abundances of both the whole rocks and their component minerals will be markedly different. This, thus, allows a different rate of radiogenic Sr to evolve in the separate rocks and their component minerals as time progresses.

Calculating the age[ edit ] The age of a sample is determined by analysing several minerals within the sample. If these form a straight line then the samples are consistent, and the age probably reliable. The slope of the line dictates the age of the sample. Several preconditions must be satisfied before a Rb-Sr date can be considered as representing the time of emplacement or formation of a rock. Rb and Sr are relatively mobile alkaline elements and as such are relatively easily moved around by the hot, often carbonated hydrothermal fluids present during metamorphism or magmatism.

Conversely, these fluids may metasomatically alter a rock, introducing new Rb and Sr into the rock generally during potassic alteration or calcic albitisation alteration.

Methods of Dating the Age of Meteorites

Here, we present single crystal U—Pb zircon ages from a suevite and two meta-graywacke samples recovered from the central uplift drill core LB A , which yield an upper Concordia intercept age of ca. Whole rock Rb—Sr and Sm—Nd isotope data of six suevites five from inside the crater and one from outside the northern crater rim , three meta-graywacke, and two phyllite samples from core LB A are also presented, providing further insights into the timing of the metamorphism and a possibly related isotopic redistribution of the Bosumtwi crater rocks.

Our Rb—Sr and Sm—Nd data show also that the suevites are mixtures of meta-greywacke and phyllite and possibly a very low amount of granite. A comparison of our new isotopic data with literature data for the Ivory Coast tektites allows to better constrain the parent material of the Ivory Coast tektites i. It may perhaps reflect a common ancient source whose Rb—Sr isotope systematics has not basically been reset on the whole rock scale during the Bosumtwi impact event, or even reflect another unknown geologic event.

The shock-induced metamorphism that affected the rocks from the Bosumtwi area, has been investigated in detail during the last years e.

Abstract. Rb-Sr dating of middle Precambrian metasedimentary rocks of central and northern Minnesota indicates a loss of radiogenic strontium during regional metamorphism.

In most forest ecosystems, sulfate is derived mostly from the atmosphere; weathering of ore minerals and evaporites contribute some sulfur. Sulfur burns with a blue flame with formation of sulfur dioxide, which has a suffocating and irritating odor. Though sometimes found in pure, native form, sulfur on Earth usually occurs as sulfide and sulfate minerals. Being abundant in native form, sulfur was known in ancient times, being mentioned for its uses in ancient India, ancient Greece, China, and Egypt.

Today, almost all elemental sulfur is produced as a byproduct of removing sulfur-containing contaminants from natural gas and petroleum. This process happens within a matter of hours to days, but can be rapidly catalyzed. Ar, the radioactive isotopes of sulfur have half-lives less than 3 hours.

Dating methods: calculating atomic ratio

Reference to a case where the given method did not work This is perhaps the most common objection of all. Creationists point to instances where a given method produced a result that is clearly wrong, and then argue that therefore all such dates may be ignored. Such an argument fails on two counts: First, an instance where a method fails to work does not imply that it does not ever work. The question is not whether there are “undatable” objects, but rather whether or not all objects cannot be dated by a given method.

Like the Rb-Sr system, this method is not so useful for dating rocks (due to open system problems) but is more helpful for determining the source of igneous rocks. Cratonal sources will have lower Nd/ Nd ratio than younger or more mafic sources.

Although they are thought to form from basinal brines, their exact origins are still unclear, partly because of the scarcity of reliable geochronological data. Rb-Sr dating of sphalerites has recently been shown to be a promising technique for the direct dating of ore minerals in MVT deposits. This paper reports the results of a reconnaissance study of sphalerites, their fluid inclusions, and associated minerals from MVT deposits of North America.

Rb-Sr isotopic analyses of K-feldspar from Immel mine preclude the possibility that the Rb-Sr data reflect feldspar inclusions. Sphalerites from the main ore zone of Daniel’s Harbour mine, New foundland, do not form a linear isochron and open behavior of the Rb-Sr system is suspected. These results are not compatible with mineralization models based on regional fluid migration related to early Tertiary Cordilleran deformation. Sphalerites from northern Arkansas have very low Rb and Sr concentrations less than 0.

The sphalerites are suspected to contain clay inclusions; and it is likely that the Sr isotopic compositions of these sphalerites, which have very low Sr concentrations, were affected by small amounts of inherited inclusions. Except for sphalerite from northern Arkansas, SEM studies and isotope dilution trace element measurements have so far failed to identify any suitable phases other than sphalerite that might be a host for the Sr.

Script of R to the Sm/Nd system

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