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However, because Rb substitutes for K in minerals and these minerals have different K/Ca ratios, the minerals will have had different Rb/Sr ratios.

During fractional crystallization, Sr tends to be come concentrated in plagioclase, leaving Rb in the liquid phase.

Different minerals in a given geologic setting can acquire distinctly different ratios of radiogenic strontium-87 to naturally occurring strontium-86 (Sr as the parent melt.

Dissolved strontium in the oceans today has a value of 0.709 that is dependent on the relative input from the continents and the ridges.

In the geologic past, changes in the activity of these two sources produced varying Sr ratios over time.

Prior to 1905 the best and most accepted age of the Earth was that proposed by Lord Kelvin based on the amount of time necessary for the Earth to cool to its present temperature from a completely liquid state.

Although we now recognize lots of problems with that calculation, the age of 25 my was accepted by most physicists, but considered too short by most geologists. Recognition that radioactive decay of atoms occurs in the Earth was important in two respects: Principles of Radiometric Dating Radioactive decay is described in terms of the probability that a constituent particle of the nucleus of an atom will escape through the potential (Energy) barrier which bonds them to the nucleus.


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