Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) dating is the most widely applied technique of radiometric dating.
What isotopes can be used for dating?
The most widely used radioactive cosmogenic isotope is carbon of mass 14 (14C), which provides a method of dating events that have occurred over roughly the past 60,000 years. This time spans the historic record and a significant part of the prehistoric record of humans.
How are minerals dated?
To establish the age of a rock or a fossil, researchers use some type of clock to determine the date it was formed. Geologists commonly use radiometric dating methods, based on the natural radioactive decay of certain elements such as potassium and carbon, as reliable clocks to date ancient events.
Of the three basic rock types, igneous rocks are most suited for radiometric dating. Metamorphic rocks may also be radiometrically dated. However, radiometric dating generally yields the age of metamorphism, not the age of the original rock.