Perspectives on 40Ar/39Ar dating

McDougall, Ian (2014) Perspectives on 40Ar/39Ar dating. Geological Society Special Publication, 378 1: 9-20. doi:10.1144/SP378.20

Author McDougall, Ian
Title Perspectives on 40Ar/39Ar dating
Formatted title
Perspectives on 40Ar/39Ar dating
Journal name Geological Society Special Publication   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-8719
ISBN 978-1-86239-360-8
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1144/SP378.20
Open Access Status
Volume 378
Issue 1
Start page 9
End page 20
Total pages 12
Place of publication Bath, United Kingdom
Publisher Geological Society Publishing House
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Isotopic dating of geological samples using the K/Ar method and its variant, the 40Ar/39Ar dating technique, provides ages that in favourable circumstances are precise and accurate to within 1%. Limiting factors include the accuracy of the decay constants for 40K and the age of neutron fluence monitor minerals. For rapidly cooled igneous rocks, a K/Ar or 40Ar/39Ar age normally will give a good estimate of the age of eruption, but for slowly cooled igneous rocks or metamorphic rocks an age measured on a sample is likely to be a cooling age. As 40Ar*/39ArK ratios can now be determined often to better than 0.1%, the main limitation on accuracy relates to how well the 40K decay constants are known. Better determination of the β− and γ decays of 40K, the basis for the decay constants, is suggested at the present time, rather than adoption of new decay constants linked to another decay scheme. Until improved independently measured decay constants for 40K become available, there may be some circumstances where the newly proposed decay constants need to be used, especially when comparing ages on volcanic igneous rocks with those measured in another system.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 30 September 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Created: Fri, 07 Feb 2014, 15:47:49 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences