Dating rocks from mt st helens

CD K-Ar dating of Mt. St. Helens dacite

dating rocks from mt st helens

Dacite magma at Mount St. Helens in Washington State expressed itself directly .. Equation (1) can be used to date the rocks if measurements of Dt and Pt are. And today we know through lab experiments and natural disasters (such as the eruption of Mt. St. Helens) that major layering of rock strata can happen. It is composed of a volcanic rock called dacite and appears to an observer in the The method used at Mount St. Helens is called potassium-argon dating.

As clearly shown in Figure 4 of Austin's essaymany of the mineral grains are zoned.

dating rocks from mt st helens

The zoning appears as a series of concentric rings of various shades of gray within the grains see the two obvious examples in the middle of Figure 4. Zoned crystals also may show Carlsbad twinning, which is typical of feldspars Perkins and Henke,Plate 10; Klein and Hurlbut,p. In thin section and under crossed-polarized light, Carlsbad twinning has a 'half and half' appearance, where one half of the grain is darker than the other half Perkins and Henke,Plate As the sample is rotated on a microscope stage, one twin will darken as the other lightens in crossed-polarized light.

A large grain with very noticeable Carlsbad twinning is located at the top of Figure 4. Well-established laboratory studies Klein and Hurlbut,p. That is, as the magma cools, calcium-rich plagioclases crystallize first, which causes the remaining melt to become depleted in calcium and relatively enriched in sodium. Once temperatures further decline, more sodium-rich plagioclase begins to solidify from the melt and may surround the calcium-rich grains.

This process produces zoning, where the older and more calcium-rich plagioclases are located in the core of the grains and the younger and more sodium-rich plagioclases occupy the rims.

Because of their crystalline and chemical differences, the calcium-rich plagioclase cores have somewhat different optical properties than the sodium-rich rims, which produce the noticeable concentric zoning in the grains in Austin's thin section photograph.

Besides plagioclase feldspars, chemicals in cooling magmas deep within the Earth may organize into pyroxenes, amphiboles and a large variety of other minerals. In contrast, any melt that reaches the Earth's surface during an eruption will immediately quench into volcanic glass if it comes into contact with seawater or other surface waters.

The quenching process freezes the atoms in place and prevents them from organizing into crystals. In the presence of air, the lava may cool slowly enough that some VERY small minerals may grow.

The highly disorganized volcanic glass matrix in Austin's Figure 4 appears black or 'isotropic' in crossed-polarized light. Unlike most minerals, which lighten and darken in crossed-polarized light as the microscope stage is rotated, volcanic glass always remains consistently dark under crossed-polarized light. Furthermore, unlike disorganized and quickly chilled volcanic glass, well-zoned and developed feldspar crystals, such as those shown in Figure 4, don't form overnight.

On the basis of the glass and mineral textures and elementary melt chemistry, we know that the zoned plagioclases and other relatively large and well-developed minerals in Austin's dacite must have taken more time to grow than the surrounding glass matrix. By using high-temperature ovens in undergraduate university laboratories or even crystal-growing kits and kitchen chemicals, a normally intelligent person can verify that coarse crystals take more time to grow than finer-grained materials.

Clearly, basic crystal chemistry and physics dictates that zoned and other relatively large phenocrysts grew deep within the Earth and existed before the glass matrix that rapidly formed during the eruption. Nevertheless, it is clear from Austin's essay that he has failed to incorporate the obviously diverse ages of the phenocrysts and the volcanic glass into his explanation for the origin of the dacite. Similarly, Swenson also fails to comprehend the indisputable history that is associated with the plagioclase zoning and to properly recognize the important age differences between the coarsest phenocrysts and the volcanic glass.

Even when phenocrysts as in Austin's Figure 4 and xenocrysts can be seen with an optical microscope, they can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to effectively separate from the glass. I've attempted to separate very fined-grained minerals from glass in coal ashes by using magnetic separation and hydrofluoric and other acids. Specifically, Austin admits that most of his fractions are impure when he includes the term 'etc. Furthermore, Austin's descriptions in the following statements clearly indicate that he FAILED to adequately separate the phenocrysts and possible xenocrysts from the volcanic glass.

Because Austin clearly understands the heterogeneous composition of this 'fraction', he should have known that a K-Ar date on this mess would be meaningless. Again, the mineral textures, as well as the laws of chemistry and physics, dictate that the calcium-rich plagioclase cores grew at higher temperatures before the sodium-rich rims and that glasses only formed once the melt erupted at the surface.

Mafic microphenocrysts within these glassy particles were probably dominated by the strongly magnetic Fe-Ti oxide minerals. The microscopic examination of the 'heavy-magnetic concentrate' also revealed a trace quantity of iron fragments, obviously the magnetic contaminant unavoidably introduced from the milling of the dacite in the iron mortar. No attempt was made to separate the hornblende from the Fe-Ti oxides, but further finer milling and use of heavy liquids should be considered.

Although the contamination might have seriously affected any iron analyses, K and Ar analyses may not have been affected. The description of another one of Austin's 'fractions' indicates that it is also highly impure: These mafic microphenocrysts and fragments of mafic phenocrysts evidently increased the density of the attached glass particles above the critical density of 2.

This sample also had recognizable hornblende, evidently not completely isolated by magnetic separation. Because it was composed of finer particles meshit contained far fewer mafic particles with attached glass fragments than DOME-IH.

This preparation is the purest mineral concentrate. Therefore, instead of dating the ages of the pyroxenes, he probably dated a mixture of mostly pyroxenes along with other minerals and volcanic glass. Again, a K-Ar date on such an impure 'fraction' would be meaningless and a waste of time and money. That is, Austin is not dating the volcanic glass or the pyroxenes in the dacite, but artificial mixtures, which result from incomplete separations.

Because Austin admits that his separations were impure, how can he, Swenson and other YECs justify their claims that these dacite samples were a fair test of the validity of the K-Ar method?

Why did Austin waste precious time and money analyzing samples that were known to contain mineral and glass impurities? As a geologist, Austin should have known that minerals, especially zoned minerals, take more time to crystallize than quenched disorder glass.

Tour of Mount St. Helens - Berkeley Creation - Paul Abramson

How could he expect the relatively large and sometimes zoned minerals to be as young as the glass?!! The following additional comments by Swenson demonstrate that he does not understand the mineralogy and chemistry of the dacite: However, Dalrymple [] found that even volcanic glass can give wrong ages and rationalized that it can be contaminated by argon from older rock material.

In any debate, the debaters should provide the references or Internet links for their opponents so that the readers can evaluate both sides and really understand what's going on. Clearly, Swenson simply assumes that the volcanic glass contains 'excess argon. In his essay, Austin even admits that the glass still needs to be separated and analyzed for argon.

Furthermore, many studies for example, the Haulalai basalt; Funkhouser and Naughton, demonstrate that Swenson and other YECs cannot automatically assume that modern volcanic glass contains excess argon.

Although hypothesis 1 is plausible, until the argon isotope concentrations of the PURE glass are accurately measured for Austin's dacite if this is even possible we cannot properly evaluate this hypothesis. Because Swenson does not provide a page number for his citation of Dalrymplethe identity of the volcanic glass with excess argon is uncertain.

Perhaps, Swenson was referring to the following statement from Dalrymplep. Because the centers of the flows cool more slowly, any excess 40Ar and other gases can disperse out of the remaining melt before solidification.

While YECs explain geology by invoking talking snakes, magical fruit, and a mythical 'Flood', Dalrymple discusses legitimate chemistry and fluid physics, which is hardly relying on flimsy 'rationalizations' or implausible excuses. Furthermore, contrary to Swenson's claims, nothing in Dalrymple excuses Austin's sloppy approach to K-Ar dating.

In particular, YECs have no justification for automatically assuming that the dacite glass contains excess argon. Even if the dacite glass does contain excess argon, Dalrymplep. Furthermore, if abundant excess argon is present in older rocks, Ar-Ar dating and K-Ar isochron dating can detect and eliminate its effects as examples, McDougall and Harrison,p. Orthopyroxene retains the most argon, followed by hornblende, and finally, plagioclase.

While Austin claims that orthopyroxenes should retain the most argon followed by hornblende an amphibole and finally plagioclase, he provides no references to support this claim.

Radiometric Dating Does Work!

In reality, the crystalline structures of amphiboles, unlike feldspars and pyroxenes, contain open channels, which can hold argon gas and other fluids Klein and Hurlbut,p. I'm skeptical that the defects and fractures in the orthopyroxenes and feldspars of Austin's dacites could hold more excess argon per mineral volume than the relatively large open structures within the hornblendes Dickin,p. Therefore, IF hypothesis 1 was the only factor influencing the dates of Austin's samples, I would expect the hornblende-rich 'fraction' to provide an older date than the pyroxene- and feldspar-rich 'fractions.

From the above discussions, we already know that hypothesis 2 is a likely explanation for Austin's old dates. To evaluate hypothesis 3, we should look at the crystallization order of the phenocrysts as suggested by Bowen's Reaction Series. The series states that certain minerals will crystallize in a melt at higher temperatures than other minerals.

That is, different minerals have different freezing points. Mafic magnesium and iron-rich volcanic rocks, such as basalts, form from relatively hot melts C and hotter, Hall,p.

  • How Old Is the Mount St. Helens Lava Dome?
  • The stirring on the mount

Felsic silica-rich rocks, such as granites, form at cooler temperatures perhaps as cool as CHall,p. The most common minerals in rocks of intermediate chemistry, such as dacites, are located towards the middle of the series. Bowen's Reaction Series is a very important concept that undergraduate students learn in their introductory physical geology courses. To be exact, Bowen's Reaction Series was the one diagram that I was required to memorize when I took my first geology course in college.

Radiometric Dating

Although Bowen's Reaction Series was established long ago by field and laboratory studies, Swenson, Austin and other YECs repeatedly fail to comprehend its importance and how it can produce ancient phenocrysts, which may affect the radiometric dating of very young samples.

In a young volcanic rock, such as the Mt. Helen's dacite, the calcium-rich plagioclases may have formed thousands or even a few million years ago. Again, as a rock ages and 40Ar accumulates in both the glass and any 40K-bearing minerals, the differences in the ages of the materials becomes less significant.

That is, if the glass quenched in an eruptionyears after the formation of the calcium-rich plagioclases, after Bowen's Reaction Series also predicts that pyroxenes will crystallize at higher temperatures before amphiboles. Assuming that any argon contamination from Geochron's equipment hypothesis 2 is negligible, we see that the dates in Austin's table are consistent with the crystallization order in Bowen's Reaction Series.

As expected, the purest pyroxene fraction provides an older date 2. That is, IF the dates are real, the pyroxenes formed in the melt before the amphiboles as predicted by the series. Because the pyroxenes solidify before most other minerals, it's also not surprising that the 'pyroxene, etc. Depending upon the amount of zoned feldspars which consist of older calcium-rich cores and younger sodium-rich rims and the quantity of glass, amphibole and pyroxene impurities, the 'feldspar etc. On the basis of the following statements by Swenson, his gross misinterpretations of Dalrympleand his unwillingness to respond to my earlier statements on Bowen's Reaction Series and its possible relevance to Austin's results, it is clear that Swenson does not know what Bowen's Reaction Series is and how it can affect the age distributions of minerals in very young volcanic rocks: They said that Dr Austin should have known they were old because the crystals were large and zoned.

However, Dr Austin's results Table 1 show that the wrong ages were not confined to one particular mineral. The idea that the age of a mineral can be anticipated by its size or colour is incorrect.

Dalrymple [], for example, found that the wrong ages in his samples were unrelated to crystal size, or any other observable characteristic of the crystal. As discussed earlier, zoning and crystal growth are extremely important in understanding phenocryst ages. Based on the statements in his essays, Swenson simply assumes that excess argon is present in all of the components of the dacite and that any statements on the lack of a relationship between excess argon and crystal size in Dalrymple automatically apply to Austin's dacite.

Again, because Swenson does not provide any page numbers when referring to Dalrymplewe can only guess which sections of Dalrymple's article he is citing. The results for the Mt. Lassen plagioclase and the Mt. Etna flow, which contains a HIGH percentage of large phenocrysts, appear to support their contention.

It is the prime reason many scientists have had doubts about radiometric dating all along. But recently, the RATE research team has conclusively demonstrated with independent lines of evidence that radioactive decay rates, widely used to bolster deep time, were dramatically accelerated in the past. RATE found 3 indicators that strongly indicate decay rates changed in the past, all pointing to a young age for the rocks and the earth.

This He is released into the crystal and rock. Helium atoms are pretty thin and can seep through solid rock. But even for He, this takes some time. The speed of Helium diffusion through solid rock has been measured. If long -age evolutionary guesses of the original amount of U are correct, then we can calculate how much Helium should have been produced and then seeped out of the crystal. If the granite is billions of years old, only the most recent Helium would still be trying to work its way out of the rock.

So there would be very little Helium left in the rock. BUT, if the rock is only thousands of years old not billionsthere should still be plenty of He still trapped in the solid granite rock. What do we actually find? What does the data basis of true science show? There is enough Helium left in the rocks, to account for an age for Earth of only you guessed it! The standard age of the rock is said to be 1.

Plenty of time for the process to reach steady state by uniformitarian standards. All this time as Helium a very light element is given off, it slips around the other atoms and leaves the crystal lattice. The hotter the crystal, the faster the He escapes into the surrounding rock. As the Zircon crystals were studied, it was apparent there was a lot of He still in the crystal — in fact much too much — if this was going on for a billion years.

Measurements in a blind experiment were taken that showed how much Helium should be left after certain amounts of time, at various heat levels of the rock and the diffusion rate of He leaving the crystal. Predictions were made for the diffusion rates based on two different relationships — one for an evolutionary time frame of billions of years, and one for a Creationist time frame of thousands of years.

The results from an independent lab showed the diffusion rate to be practically the same as the predicted creationist rate. Extremely close — excellent results for the young-earth creationist time frame, and not at all what the evolutionary time frame predicted. This is proof that those deep earth rocks with large amounts helium still in the zircon crystals were only thousands of years old. They cannot be a billion years old, or close to that figure.

If you believe in predictive, quantifiable science, then you cannot believe in 1. In order to get the level of helium found in the rocks, there had to have been a lot of radioactive decay. But the results show also that there was not only very a rapid decay episode, but the helium still in the crystal, shows it happened in the recent past. Recent as in thousands of years ago, not millions let alone billions. Samples came from several granites. Halos are a microscopic spherical pattern of damage in the crystalline structure of the granite.

The damage is caused by high energy alpha particles that are emitted by radiometric decay of the Uranium in the rock.

dating rocks from mt st helens

Particles like tiny bullets pierce the rock and leave a spherical pattern, outward from the U atoms. Polonium is very unstable, and decays quickly. Some can decay in 3 minutes, some a few days. Po halos are also found in all rocks and in large numbers.

dating rocks from mt st helens

How can they be there in large numbers? This conundrum can only be explained if there were one or more rapid changes in U decay rates. The large numbers of these Po halo finds do indicate very quick changes in decay rates and that the rocks cannot be millions and millions of years old. Again, the observable science fits the Creation model and not the uniformitarian model. Carbon 14 or radiocarbon is an entirely different method of dating materials in the earth.

It is only used on material that was once alive. Bones, flesh, plants, and any remains that are not entirely fossilized into rock, is what C can be used on. It is only good for a dating back with any confidence to less than 80, years.

dating rocks from mt st helens

This is because C the radioactive parent element has a half life of only 5, years. C is from the atmosphere and part of the food chain. Plants take in as carbon dioxide, the C is the carbon atom, instead of the normal and stable C It is everywhere and all through the food chain, such that all living things as well as the atmosphere, have about the same amount of carbon inside their living tissue.

Is the Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Really 1 Million Years Old?

However once a plant or animal dies, it stops ingesting new C Again, radio-carbon dating is only used on samples that were once alive, and is typically good for only ages up to 80, years with any reliability. It was never used to indicate millions of years of age for fossils or rocks or anything else. Evolutionists never use C on samples they believe to be millions of years old. Yet samples of material analysis of rocks believed to be millions of years old, do contain tiny microscopic fragments of shells, bone, graphite wood and other organic materials.

The compositional analysis of its contents from these studies have been published in many scientific journals. Because of these observations, the RATE Team collected samples of coal Metamorphosed plant remains from deep mines from all over the earth.

Each one is thought to be hundreds of millions of years old, and therefore should be C dead. These samples were sent to independent labs for C dating. Bones of dinosaurs were also dated, as well as petrified wood.

In fact, fossil samples from a large spectrum of the fossil record were also tested. Diamonds from deep mines were also tested. Samples of industrial diamonds from around the world were also tested. This is real observable science. Nuclear decay rates went through a major acceleration in the past! Dates derived from Radiometric dating are off by massive amounts. The regular presence of C14 in samples tested shows that our planet cannot be millions of years old.

These are repeatable, verifiable results from experimental science. No way can this planet be millions — let alone billions of years old. This calls into question the entire assumption of millions of years — and the foundation of evolutionary theory. Modern genetics and DNA have already shown there is a Creator — that evolution is not true — And this confirms it. And all of these methods give maximum dates that are that are not in the billions of years and are totally incompatible with evolutionary time spans.

In fact, the modern findings of jumbled dinosaur and sea-life graveyards all over the earth, soft tissue in dinosaur bones, as well as the C mentioned above, all make the old-earth age beliefs look very wrong.