Methods of scientific dating

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The comprehensive treatise contains almost 200 articles covering widely accepted dating methods to determine the timing and rate of various processes, such as sedimentation (terrestrial and marine), tectonics, volcanism, geomorphological change, cooling rates, crystallization, fluid flow, glaciation, climate change and evolution.

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Dating this find and finding out where it fits in the geological time scale makes up the second half and is crucial for understanding its significance in the context of earth’s history.

The provides an overview of the physical and chemical foundations of dating methods and their applications.

Using the potassium-argon method, Fitch and Miller were the first to measure the age of the tuff.

Their result of 212–230 million years did not agree with the age of the fossils (elephant, pig, ape and tools) so they rejected the date.

They said the sample was contaminated with excess argon.

Using new samples of feldspar and pumice they ‘reliably dated’ the tuff at 2.61 million years, which agreed nicely.

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