Problems with radioactive dating methods before the development of radiometric dating techniques

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In order to simplify the formula, scientists generally assume that igneous rock contains no argon when it forms, because the argon, being a noble gas, would escape from the cooling lava. Fresh volcanic rock is routinely found to have argon in it when it first cools.In these cases, lava of a known age of no more than several thousand years (and in one case, no more than ten years) had argon in it when it formed, so that the rock was calculated by K-Ar dating to be millions of years old, even though it was known to be only thousands of years old. Relative Dating, Absolute Dating , Geologic Time, and Fossils Notes . Physics Principles And Problems Answer Key as well Shower Radio.But if there was argon in the rock when it originally formed, then the age calculated will be millions of years too high. The greater the amount of daughter isotope, the greater the apparent age.The proportion of argon to radioactive potassium in the sample today is observable, and the decay constant of potassium is readily calculable by measuring the amount of argon produced from the decay of K after a specified time.

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