geologictime2 - Geologic Time 2 Geochronology Geochronology...

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Geologic Time 2: Geochronology
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Geochronology Establishes numerical age of geologic events. years elapsed between event and present day Radioactive decay of atoms in minerals: proceeds at known, fixed rate. act as internal clocks.
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Radioactive Decay Radioactive Decay Isotopes – Atoms with same # of protons, different # of neutrons. Stable – Isotopes that never change: 12 C, 13 C Radioactive – Isotopes that spontaneously decay: 14 14 C
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Radioactive Decay Radioactive Decay Progresses along a decay chain. creates new unstable elements that decay. proceeds to stable element endpoint. Parent isotope – undergoes decay. Daughter isotope – Product of this decay.
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Radioactive Decay Radioactive Decay Half-life ( t t ) – Time for unstable nuclei to decay. characteristic of each isotope. – after one t t 1/2 of original parent remains.
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After one half-life, 50% or 1/2 of parent decays; left with equal amount of daughter isotope or 1:1 parent to daughter ratio.
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geologictime2 - Geologic Time 2 Geochronology Geochronology...

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