One out of 100 dating

The technique can, however, provide the relative ages of bones from the same site.Most fossils are found in sedimentary rocks deposited in layers.The level of nitrogen gradually reduces as the bone decays.Absolute dating is not possible with this method because the rate at which the nitrogen content declines depends on the surrounding temperature, moisture, soil chemicals and bacteria.

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Another useful chemical analysis technique involves calculating the amount of nitrogen within a bone.This relatively new technique was developed in order to achieve more accurate dates than those obtained from the potassium-argon method.The older method required two samples for dating and could produce imprecise dates if the argon was not fully extracted.Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.The heat from a volcanic eruption releases all the argon from the molten rock and disperses it into the atmosphere.

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