Rock age determination
Faure, Gunter Department of Geology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Principles of dating
- Rubidium-strontium method
- Potassium-argon method
- Argon-40/argon-39 method
- Uranium, thorium-lead method
- Common-lead method
- Fission-track method
- Thorium-230/uranium-238 method
- Samarium-neodymium method
- Rhenium-osmium method
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Finding the age of rocks based on the presence of naturally occurring long-lived radioactive isotopes of several elements in certain minerals and rocks. Measurements of rock ages have enabled geologists to reconstruct the geologic history of the Earth from the time of its formation 4.6 × 109 years ago to the present. Age determinations of rocks from the Moon have also contributed to knowledge of the history of the Moon, and may someday be used to study the history of Mars and of other bodies within the solar system. See also: Radioactivity
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