Radiometric dating of surface rocks

In addition, the parent and daughter isotopes must remain together in a rock to use them to determine the rock's age. Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates. Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.The importance of radiometric dating is that it allows us to tell how old some things are.

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I've been looking for an answer for this for a while and haven't run across an obvious explanation.Each mineral has a different parent/daughter ratio upon crystallization, and if you break the rock down into its constituent minerals (and know the minerals you used formed at the same time) and measure the ratios you will see that points fall along a line (an isochron).The slope of the line is proportional to the age of the sample.Thus, minerals with high abundance of the parent will have high abundance of daughter, and likewise for those with low abundances.The y-intercept of the isochron is therefore the initial daughter. We measure the mass of Pb-204, which is the only Pb isotope that is not the product of radioactive decay.

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