Sedimentary rocks dating

Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by French physicist Henri Becquerel.By 1907 study of the decay products of uranium (lead and intermediate radioactive elements that decay to lead) demonstrated to B. Boltwood that the lead/uranium ratio in uranium minerals increased with geologic age and might provide a geological dating tool.The discoveries from Yellowstone park could affect how certain sequences of sedimentary rock are dated, and and also provide a means by which scientists can search for evidence of life on other planets.Professor Fouke's research was funded by the US National Science Foundation and has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Sedimentary Research.So abundant, in fact, that it accounts for about 4% by weight of the Earth's crust.Calcium carbonate takes several different geological forms. Its crust is continually being created, modified, and destroyed.

Because calcium carbonate is so common, many microbial organisms use it as the main chemical building block of their shells.The team chose Yellowstone National Park because of the high precipitation rates of calcium carbonate in the hot springs there.In fact, in the springs which they researched, the calcium carbonate grows by millimetres per day and is highly enriched with microbial life.One of the crucial experiments which the group performed was to draw water from the hot springs vent andmeausre how much calcium carbonate was deposited with the microbes present.This was then compared with what happened after the microbes were removed from the water.

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