Natural Sciences >> Geology

Radiometric Dating of Igneous Rocks

by Robert McDaniel


Submitted : Spring 2014

Potassium is one of Earth’s most abundant minerals which constitutes about 2.1% of its crust. It is commonly found in igneous rocks and the isotope 40K can be used to date the rocks from the time that they solidified. The goal of this project was to examine the use of radiometric dating, particularly Potassium-Argon dating, in the field of geology and to calculate the age of a sample of igneous rock (Potassium Feldspar) given the amount of 40K and 40Ar isotopes found within the sample. Using the ratio of 40K and 40Ar found within the sample, a relatively simple exponential formula was implemented to date the absolute age of the rock. The sample of K-spar was found to be a specimen dating back to the early Cretaceous period.

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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Joshua Slattery, Geology
Suggested By :
Joshua Slattery