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Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava. Geologists use those radioactive isotopes to date volcanic ash or granite formations like the giant Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Here he can see that some curved sedimentary rocks have been cut vertically by a sheet of volcanic rock called a dyke.

Geologists have a much harder job keeping track of time.

Studying the Earth and its evolution, they work with time scales of thousands to billions of years.

By establishing geological timescales, radiometric dating provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and rates of evolutionary change, and it is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

The different methods of radiometric dating are accurate over different timescales, and they are useful for different materials.

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