Zircon age dating
Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.It’s based either on fossils which are recognized to represent a particular interval of time, or on radioactive decay of specific isotopes. Based on the Rule of Superposition, certain organisms clearly lived before others, during certain geologic times.After all, a dinosaur wouldn’t be caught dead next to a trilobite.
Activity: Further discussion: Good overview as relates to the Grand Canyon: age dating: Use with this cross section of the Grand Canyon from the USGS’s teaching page: Canyon Have students reconstruct a simple geologic history — which are the oldest rocks shown? Are there any that you can’t tell using the Rule of Superposition?
In this paper is reported the first ion microprobe U/Pb zircon ages from mid-crustal rocks of Mabja Dome, the results of which constrain the onset of peak metamorphism and duration of ductile extension.
At their request, physicist Dr Jim Mason, of CMI Canada, reviewed the material from the meeting and his response was published on 2 April 2015 (see Response to Geochronology: Understanding the Uncertainties, a presentation by Dr Justin Payne).
What’s more, if the whole rock is badly weathered, it will be hard to find an intact mineral grain containing radioactive isotopes.
You might have noticed that many of the oldest age dates come from a mineral called zircon.