Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers. To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating. Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava. Lava properly called magma before it erupts fills large underground chambers called magma chambers. Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios. Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.
ERRORS ARE FEARED IN CARBON DATING
More Bad News for Radiometric Dating
To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Since , scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain. New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years.
Radiocarbon Dating Could Become Inaccurate Due To Fossil Fuel Emissions
Fossil fuel emissions could soon start to cause headaches for archaeologists and paleontologists using radiocarbon dating to study artifacts. New research suggests the release of carbon-based gases into the atmosphere by vehicles and factories could alter radiocarbon measurements of ancient material. Radiocarbon dating measures levels of carbon, a naturally radioactive form of the atom. This technique, first developed in the 's , determines the age of any organic material by measuring ratios between carbon and nonradioactive atoms of the element. Researchers stated that at current rates of atmospheric carbon emissions, so much error will have been introduced into radiocarbon measurements that by the year , an item 1, years old would be indistinguishable from a brand-new sample.
Radiocarbon dating is a key tool archaeologists use to determine the age of plants and objects made with organic material. But new research shows that commonly accepted radiocarbon dating standards can miss the mark—calling into question historical timelines. Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region, which includes Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt. These variations, or offsets, of up to 20 years in the calibration of precise radiocarbon dating could be related to climatic conditions.