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The calcium-potassium age method is seldom used, however, because of the great abundance of nonradiogenic calcium in minerals or rocks, which masks the presence of radiogenic calcium.On the other hand, the abundance of argon in the is relatively small because of its escape to the atmosphere during processes associated with volcanism.Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon dating is the only viable technique for dating very old archaeological materials.Geologists have used this method to date rocks as much as 4 billion years old.

Although lithologic units could be placed within a known sequence of geologic periods of roughly similar age, absolute ages, expressed in units of years, could not be assigned. Sur les radiations invisibles mises par les sels d'uranium. The recent development of small volume low-background noble gas extraction systems and low-background high-sensitivity mass spectrometers have improved our ability to more accurately and precisely date geologic events. However, the dating of Quaternary, low potassium rocks continues to test the limits of the method because of small quantities of radiogenic argon and large atmospheric argon contamination. It is based on the fact that some of the radioactive isotope of Potassium, Potassium-40 (K-40) ,decays to the gas Argon as Argon-40 (Ar-40).By comparing the proportion of K-40 to Ar-40 in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K-40, the date that the rock formed can be determined.

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