What is a disadvantage of radiometric dating using potassium 40

The site also must be geologically meaningful, clearly related to fossil-bearing rocks or other features that need a good date to join the big story.Lava flows that lie above and below rock beds with ancient human fossils are a good—and true—example.Variations in this data may point to errors anywhere in the process, which is why all the steps of preparation are recorded in detail.K-Ar analyses cost several hundred dollars per sample and take a week or two.

Rock samples are recorded, marked, sealed and kept free of contamination and excessive heat on the way to the lab.

That is, a fresh mineral grain has its K-Ar "clock" set at zero.

The method relies on satisfying some important assumptions: Given careful work in the field and in the lab, these assumptions can be met.

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