Home earth Earth History Geologist Radioactive. Read about How do we know the Age of the Earth? Radiometric dating using the naturally-occurring radioactive elements is simple in concept even though technically complex. If we know the number of radioactive parent atoms present when a rock formed and the number present now, we can calculate the age of the rock using the decay constant. The number of parent atoms originally present is simply the number present now plus the number of daughter atoms formed by the decay, both of which are quantities that can be measured.
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Another evening, another eerie glow atop Italy's Mount Etna. The eruptions rocketing from volcanic craters atop Etna's summit suffuse dark nights with a fiery aura as lava jets into the air. The volcano erupted again this past weekend, tossing lava bombs that looked like fireworks from afar. The blast from Etna's New Southeast Crater is the latest in a string of spectacular eruptions.
Etna basalt dating
Extrusive rocks are usually distinguished from intrusive rocks on the basis of their texture and mineral composition. Both lava flows and pyroclastic debris fragmented volcanic material are extrusive; they are commonly glassy obsidian or finely crystalline basalts and felsites. Many extrusive rocks also contain intrusive components; this mixture of fine- and coarse-grained textures is described as porphyritic. Extrusive rock Article Media Additional Info.
Erosion resulting from the Missoula Floods has extensively exposed these lava flows, laying bare many layers of the basalt flows at Wallula Gap , the lower Palouse River , the Columbia River Gorge and throughout the Channeled Scablands. As the molten rock came to the surface, the Earth's crust gradually sank into the space left by the rising lava. This subsidence of the crust produced a large, slightly depressed lava plain now known as the Columbia Basin or Columbia River Plateau. The northwesterly advancing lava forced the ancient Columbia River into its present course. The lava, as it flowed over the area, first filled the stream valleys, forming dams that in turn caused impoundments or lakes.