Lava rock dating

However, it can only be used to date objects that were once alive.It cannot be used to date rocks, unless those rocks happen to contain organic material.This technique, also called radiometric dating, measures the stage of decay of specific radioactive isotopes contained in the object.Depending on which isotope is analyzed, objects from several billion years old to just a few thousand years old can be accurately dated.

Mt Ngauruhoe is thought to have been active for at least 2,500 years, with more than 70 eruptive periods since 1839, when European settlers first recorded a steam eruption.In some circumstances however, a flow may encase a small amount of plant material before it is entirely incinerated.Starved of the oxygen required for combustion, these bits of organic material are preserved inside the cooling lava.Relative- age dating compares past geologic events based on where objects appear relative to one another in layers, or strata, of rock.

In contrast, absolute-age dating provides an accurate estimate of an object's actual age.

It is not as well publicized as its larger close neighbour Mt Ruapehu, which has erupted briefly several times in the last five years.

Lava rock dating comments

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