Geologists use radiometric dating to estimate how long ago rocks formed, and to infer the ages of fossils contained within those rocks. Sedimentary rocks can be dated using radioactive carbon, but because carbon decays relatively quickly, this only works for rocks younger than about 50 thousand years.
How do we use radiometric dating to date rocks?
To establish the age of a rock or a fossil, researchers use some type of clock to determine the date it was formed. Geologists commonly use radiometric dating methods, based on the natural radioactive decay of certain elements such as potassium and carbon, as reliable clocks to date ancient events.
What do you not need for radiometric dating?
Radiometric dating is a very useful tool for dating geological materials but it does have limits:The material being dated must have measurable amounts of the parent and/or the daughter isotopes. Radiometric dating is not very useful for determining the age of sedimentary rocks.Feb 24, 2012
Is cement a sedimentary rock?
Cemented gravel and pebbles form a sedimentary rock called conglomerate. Artificial cemented rocks (sand and gravel) is called concrete. Cemented sand forms sandstone and mud-sized particles make mudstone and siltstone. The type of cement also helps classify the sedimentary rock.
Why does radiometric dating not work?
Here is yet another mechanism that can cause trouble for radiometric dating: As lava rises through the crust, it will heat up surrounding rock. Lead has a low melting point, so it will melt early and enter the magma. This will cause an apparent large age. Uranium has a much higher melting point.