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Lava links dating

Morris cited other examples of anomalous dates produced by excess argon and falsely claimed that it is a universal problem for K-Ar dating.

The problem is not universal, as the majority of minerals and rocks dated by K-Ar do not contain the excess argon.

After a short break, we cross a magnificent beechgrove and arrive at the so-called ‘Passo dei dammusi’, a mountain pass covered with characteristic roped lava from the eruption in 1614-1624.

Beneath this lava surface, we will explore some of the most striking lava tubes in the Etna, including "La Grotta dei Lamponi".

The conventional K-Ar dating method was applied to the 1986 dacite flow from the new lava dome at Mount St. Porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome in 1986 gives a whole rock K-Ar “age” of 0.35±0.05 million years (Ma).

Mineral concentrates from the dacite which formed in 1986 give K-Ar “ages” from 0.34±0.06 Ma (feldspar-glass concentrate) to 2.8±0.6 Ma (pyroxene concentrate). The fundamental dating assumption (“no radiogenic argon was present when the rock formed”) is questioned by these data. Helens dacite argue that significant “excess argon” was present when the lava solidified in 1986.

Phenocrysts of orthopyroxene, hornblende, and plagioclase are interpreted to have occluded argon within their mineral structures deep in the magma chamber and to have retained this argon after emplacement and solidification of the dacite.

Unlike the usual tours designed for the tourist masses, this excursion visits places among the most beautiful and characteristic of the Etna Volcano.

The trek to this cavern is an easy one and as an extra safety measure, Volcano Trek will provide each participant with a safety helmet fitted with an electric head light.On our way back, we will marvel at more spectacular Etna landscape as we follow the forest track passing the handsome pinegrove ‘Pineta Ragabo’.As we explore this area, we will also visit the eruptive vents dating back to the 1923 eruption and Etna’s most prominent volcanic cone, Mount Nero.Following the rapidly-descending pathway, we arrive at the modest mountain refuge at Mount Timpa Rossa.Where excess argon is a problem, accurate, reliable dates typically can be obtained using harlequin2, 2001.

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Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method.