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For this reason, this arrangement of minerals became known as Bowen's reaction series.
On the upper left branch of this reaction series, olivine, the first mineral to form, Ml] react with the remaining melt to become pyroxene.
The growth of U, can be used over a time range from a few hundred to half a million years.
Calcite precipitated from running or dripping water in springs and caves, as well as marls and soil-deposited calcretes may be spatio-temporally associated with archaeological materials; they can be dated by U measurements with a precision of ±5–10% of the age (by alpha counting) or ±1% (by mass spectrometry).
This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.
Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning.
This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.
This reaction will continue until the last mineral in the series, biotite mica, is formed.
This left branch is called a discontinuous reaction series because each mineral has a different crystalline structure.
Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.
Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.
But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column, which is open to question, this can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later.