Question: Is carbon-14 used to date volcanic rock?

Geologists do not use carbon-based radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks. Carbon dating only works for objects that are younger than about 50,000 years, and most rocks of interest are older than that. Over time, carbon-14 decays radioactively and turns into nitrogen.

Can volcanic rocks be carbon dated?

Sedimentary rocks can be dated using radioactive carbon, but because carbon decays relatively quickly, this only works for rocks younger than about 50 thousand years. So in order to date most older fossils, scientists look for layers of igneous rock or volcanic ash above and below the fossil.

Which type of rock can be determined using carbon-14?

Radioactive elements are common only in rocks with a volcanic origin, so the only fossil-bearing rocks that can be dated radiometrically are volcanic ash layers. Carbon dating uses the decay of carbon-14 to estimate the age of organic materials, such as wood and leather.

What materials are best dated with carbon-14 geology?

Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old. It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.

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