Posted tagged ‘excess argon’

Age Calibration of the Ar/Ar method against Novarupta

September 3, 2013

Novarupta Dome

The world’s largest volcanic eruption in over 100 years occurred June 6-8, 1912 in what is now Katmai National Park in Southwest Alaska. The Novarupta-Katmai eruption of 1912 was 30 times larger than Mt. St. Helen’s 1980 blast.

In 2012, 100 years after the eruption, I had a piece of the Novarupta lava dome (in photo above) age-dated using the Argon-Argon method. While eyewitness testimony and historical documents suggest that Novarupta is no more than 100 years old, the Ar-Ar results concluded the rock sample was up to 5.5 million years old!

Clearly, something is wrong with radiometric methods. My sample is just one in a long line of samples that give huge errors when radiometric dating methods are calibrated against rocks of known age. Radiometric methods may be useful for studying a rock’s environmental history, but are useless for determining absolute ages.

You can read more in my new paper, published in the 50th Anniversary Issue of the Creation Research Society Quarterly: Ar Ar Calibration Against Novarupta