Lava rock dating
Such a large variety of igneous rocks exists that it is logical to assume an equally large variety of magmas must also exist.
However, geologists have found that various eruptive stages of the same volcano often extrude lavas exhibiting somewhat different mineral compositions, particularly if an extensive period of time separated the eruptions.
Ordinarily, these reactions are not complete so that various amounts of each of these minerals may exist at any given time.
The right branch of the reaction series is a continuum in which the earliest formed calcium-rich feldspar crystals react with the sodium ions contained in the melt to become progressively more sodium rich.
This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.A number of processes could cause the parent substance to be depleted at the top of the magma chamber, or the daughter product to be enriched, both of which would cause the lava erupting earlier to appear very old according to radiometric dating, and lava erupting later to appear younger.As the crystallization process continues, the composition of the melt (liquid portion of a magma, excluding any solid material continually changes.For example, at the stage when about 50 percent of the magma has solidified, the melt will be greatly depleted in iron, magnesium, and calcium, because these elements are found in the earliest formed minerals.
During the last stage of crystallization, after most of the magma has solidified, the remaining melt will form the minerals quartz, muscovite mica, and potassium feldspar.