Carbon dating practice problems
In this way, limiting dates on the age of the glacial event or fossil occurrence may be assigned (e.g., Ar ratio.
Dating is usually carried out on minerals such as sanidine, plagioclase, biotite, hornblende, and olivine in volcanic lavas and tuffs.
Similar errors result from modern argon being absorbed on to the surface and interior of the sample, thereby invalidating the second assumption.
Fortunately, atmospheric argon contamination can be assessed by measurement of the different isotopes of argon present.
Care is also required in interpreting radiocarbon ages.
Plant fossils in growth position on a surface over which a landslide travels are ideal material for dating because the landslide killed the plants; in other words, the ages of the fossils and the landslide are the same, given the aforementioned uncertainties.
In ultraclean laboratories, analytical uncertainty can be as low as ±10 years (1 sigma), but in most laboratories, it is of the order of ±50 years (1 sigma).