How is potassium argon dating used

The quantity of potassium in a rock or mineral is variable proportional to the amount of silica present.

Therefore, mafic rocks and minerals often contain less potassium than an equal amount of silicic rock or mineral.

This method is useful for archaeologists working in areas where volcanic eruptions have left layers of ash above and below an archaeological deposit.However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.So we can't pick up an artifact that's made from volcanic rock and get a potassium argon date on the artifact.We wouldn''t be dating the artifact – we'd be dating the rock and the rock might have formed millions of years earlier.In moving forward explain the importance of radio carbon dating, potassium argon dating, seriation and stratigraphy to the archaeological study, one must first understand the difference between relative dating and absolute dating in archaeology.

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