Is the K/T the Post-Flood boundary?—part 1: introduction and the scale of sedimentary rocks

January Fossils provide a record of the history of life. Smith is known as the Father of English Geology. Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods. Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better. Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating. These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.

Sedimentary Rocks Formation and Fossils!

The isochron method Many radioactive dating methods are based on minute additions of daughter products to a rock or mineral in which a considerable amount of daughter-type isotopes already exists. These isotopes did not come from radioactive decay in the system but rather formed during the original creation of the elements. In this case, it is a big advantage to present the data in a form in which the abundance of both the parent and daughter isotopes are given with respect to the abundance of the initial background daughter.

The incremental additions of the daughter type can then be viewed in proportion to the abundance of parent atoms.

Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.

Mineralogy As a discipline, mineralogy has had close historical ties with geology. Minerals as basic constituents of rocks and ore deposits are obviously an integral aspect of geology. The problems and techniques of mineralogy, however, are distinct in many respects from those of the rest of geology, with the result that mineralogy has grown to be a large, complex discipline in itself.

Nepheline greasy light gray , sodalite blue , cancrinite yellow , feldspar white , and ferromagnesian minerals black in an alkalic syenite from Litchfield, Maine, U. About 3, distinct mineral species are recognized, but relatively few are important in the kinds of rocks that are abundant in the outer part of the Earth. Thus a few minerals such as the feldspars, quartz, and mica are the essential ingredients in granite and its near relatives.

Limestones , which are widely distributed on all continents, consist largely of only two minerals, calcite and dolomite. Many rocks have a more complex mineralogy, and in some the mineral particles are so minute that they can be identified only through specialized techniques. It is possible to identify an individual mineral in a specimen by examining and testing its physical properties. Determining the hardness of a mineral is the most practical way of identifying it.

This can be done by using the Mohs scale of hardness, which lists 10 common minerals in their relative order of hardness:

Radiocarbon dating

A sedimentary rock is just what it sounds like: Sedimentary rocks can consist of sand, clay, chalk and fossils and as a marine geologist I find sedimentary rocks very fascinating! Some may think that sedimentary rocks is a bit dull since sedimentary rocks isn’t created by violent and exciting volcano eruptions from the Earths mantle like the igneous rocks. No, sedimentary rocks have another type of fascinating origin and every single rock tells a story if you just know how to “read” the rock!

That is one of the fascinating thing with sedimentary rocks! The other exciting part with sedimentary rocks is that they tell us about Earths history!

Radiometric Dating. How radiometric dating works in general. Why methods in general are inaccurate. Why K-Ar dating is inaccurate. The branching ratio problem.

Radioactive decay[ edit ] Example of a radioactive decay chain from lead Pb to lead Pb. The final decay product, lead Pb , is stable and can no longer undergo spontaneous radioactive decay. All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements , each with its own atomic number , indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes , with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. Some nuclides are inherently unstable. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will undergo radioactive decay and spontaneously transform into a different nuclide. This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including alpha decay emission of alpha particles and beta decay electron emission, positron emission, or electron capture.

Another possibility is spontaneous fission into two or more nuclides. While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is unpredictable, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life , usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques. After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a “daughter” nuclide or decay product.

In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain , eventually ending with the formation of a stable nonradioactive daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life. In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter.

Radiometric dating

Rubidium—strontium method The radioactive decay of rubidium 87Rb to strontium 87Sr was the first widely used dating system that utilized the isochron method. Because rubidium is concentrated in crustal rocks, the continents have a much higher abundance of the daughter isotope strontium compared with the stable isotopes. A ratio for average continental crust of about 0.

This difference may appear small, but, considering that modern instruments can make the determination to a few parts in 70, , it is quite significant.

Get the latest slate of VH1 Shows! Visit to get the latest full episodes, bonus clips, cast interviews, and exclusive videos.

April Koch April teaches high school science and holds a master’s degree in education. Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age. Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past. We’ll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity! Your goal is to study the smooth, parallel layers of rock to learn how the land built up over geologic time. Now imagine that you come upon a formation like this: Example of a rock layer that is not smooth or parallel What do you think of it?

How do you study it? How can you make any conclusions about rock layers that make such a crazy arrangement? Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay. Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.

How Old is the Earth

I go to great pains to measure every specimen to accurately describe the size. Use a ruler to visualize the size. Do not look at your own thumbnail and think that is the size of the specimen. Diamonds are composed of pure carbon atoms linked by double bonds, resulting in extraordinary thermal conductivity that distinguishes them from other gem materials. Diamond testers are used for testing faceted gemstones to confirm they are genuine diamonds.

Evolutionists generally feel secure even in the face of compelling creationist arguments today because of their utter confidence in the geological time scale. Even if they cannot provide a naturalistic mechanism, they appeal to the “fact of evolution,” by which they mean an interpretation of earth.

As scientists will often claim something to be millions or billions of years old ages that do not conform to the Biblical account of the age of the earth , Christians are often left wondering about the accuracy of the carbon method. Carbon is an unstable, radioactive isotope of carbon As with any radioactive isotope, carbon decays over time. The half-life of carbon 14 is approximate 5, years. That means if you took one pound of percent carbon , in 5, years, you would only have half a pound left.

Carbon is created in the upper atmosphere as nitrogen atoms are bombarded by cosmic radiation. For every one trillion carbon atoms, you will find one carbon atoms. The carbon that results from the reaction caused by cosmic radiation quickly changes to carbon dioxide, just like normal carbon would.

Changing Views of the History of the Earth

These are K-Ar data obtained on glauconite, a potassium-bearing clay mineral that forms in some marine sediment. Woodmorappe fails to mention, however, that these data were obtained as part of a controlled experiment to test, on samples of known age, the applicability of the K-Ar method to glauconite and to illite, another clay mineral. He also neglects to mention that most of the 89 K-Ar ages reported in their study agree very well with the expected ages. Evernden and others 43 found that these clay minerals are extremely susceptible to argon loss when heated even slightly, such as occurs when sedimentary rocks are deeply buried.

David Whitmer was one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. The majority of the translation work took place in the Whitmer home. I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated.

Leibnitz reworked Descartes’s cosmogony. Protogea was published much later in An essay toward a Natural History of the Earth. Woodward came down fairly strongly for the view that the flood was an act of God that could not be accounted for by normal physical processes. He also postulated hydrological sorting to account for the ordering of fossils. Whiston added comets to Burnet’s cosmogony as the source of the waters of the flood. Lectures and Discourse of Earthquakes and Subterranean Eruptions.

Hooke believed that the fossils were the remains of extinct species and could not be accounted for by the Flood. Using Descartes’s cosmology, the assumption that the earth was once entirely flooded, and the observation that the sea level was dropping three inches per century near his home, he calculated the age of the earth to be greater than 2 billion years.

Top Stories

At the time that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, the earth was “scientifically” determined to be million years old. By , it was found to be 1. In , science firmly established that the earth was 3. Finally in , it was discovered that the earth is “really” 4.

Collection of weekly news and commentaries from John Betts, lecturer, author, photographer, mineral collector, and mineral dealer. Practical everyday advice for mineral collectors on building and organizing mineral collections.

Thomography Thanks to thermoluminescence, it is possible to differentiate authentic excavated items from recently manufactured fakes with reasonable accuracy. How do you know when a work of art was painted? Unfortunately there are no affordable direct methods for dating pigments, except in some cases as we will see later.

For instance, it is possible to date the wood support of a panel as well as canvas. The three most important dating techniques which are useful for the analysis of works of art are: TL-Thermoluminescence Thermoluminescence dating is used for pottery.

Short Reviews

Tertiary mammals of the western United States 4. Tertiary bird and mammal tracks and the Devils corkscrews 5. Tertiary volcanism in the northwest United States 6. The cooling of ocean basalt while the continents rise Table 1. Why is the boundary important?

Dating – Rubidium–strontium method: The radioactive decay of rubidium (87Rb) to strontium (87Sr) was the first widely used dating system that utilized the isochron method. Rubidium is a relatively abundant trace element in Earth’s crust and can be found in many common rock-forming minerals in which it substitutes for the major element potassium.

March 1, Earth is about 4. Not long after that rock record begins, tantalizing evidence of life emerges: A set of filament-like fossils from Australia, reported in the journal Astrobiology in , may be the remains of a microbial mat that might have been extracting energy from sunlight some 3. Another contender for world’s oldest life is a set of rocks in Greenland that may hold the fossils of 3. Some scientists have claimed to see evidence of life in 3.

The researchers first reported in in the journal Nature that isotopes forms of an element with different numbers of neutrons in those rocks might indicate ancient metabolic activity by some mystery microbe. Those findings have been hotly debated ever since — as, in fact, have all claims of early life. Most recently, scientists reported in the journal Nature that they had discovered microfossils in Canada that might be between 3.

The filament-like fossils contained chemical signals that could herald life, but it’s hard to prove that they do, researchers not involved in the study told Live Science. It’s also hard to prove that fossils found in ancient rocks are necessarily ancient themselves; fluids have penetrated cracks in the rock and might have allowed newer microbes in to older rock.

Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks

These formations may have resulted from carcass burial in an anoxic environment with minimal bacteria, thus slowing decomposition. Stromatolites Lower Proterozoic Stromatolites from Bolivia , South America Stromatolites are layered accretionary structures formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by biofilms of microorganisms , especially cyanobacteria. While older, Archean fossil remains are presumed to be colonies of cyanobacteria , younger that is, Proterozoic fossils may be primordial forms of the eukaryote chlorophytes that is, green algae.

T he year turned out to be somewhat of a rejuvenation after the comparatively weak offerings of Although Korean films did not win any major awards from top-ranked festivals in , as they had the previous year, the films themselves provided a much broader range of quality.

Outlook Other Abstract U-Pb radioisotope dating is now the absolute dating method of first choice among geochronologists, especially using the mineral zircon. A variety of analytical instruments have also now been developed using different micro-sampling techniques coupled with mass spectrometers, thus enabling wide usage of U-Pb radioisotope dating. However, problems remain in the interpretation of the measured Pb isotopic ratios to transform them into ages.

Among them is the presence of non-radiogenic Pb of unknown composition, often referred to as common or initial Pb. There is also primordial Pb that the earth acquired when it formed, its isotopic composition determined as that of troilite in the Canyon Diablo iron meteorite. Subsequently new crustal rocks formed via partial melts from the mantle. So the Pb isotope ratios measured in these rocks today must be interpreted before their U-Pb ages can be calculated.

Various methods have been devised to determine this initial or common Pb, but all involve making unprovable assumptions. Zircon does incorporate initial Pb when it crystallizes. The amount of Pb cannot be measured independently and accurately. It cannot be demonstrated that the initial Pb only consisted of Pb atoms.

How Does Radiocarbon Dating Work? – Instant Egghead #28