Problems with dating metamorphic rocks

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Carbon-14 is a method used for young (less than 50,000 year old) sedimentary rocks.This method relies on the uptake of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon, carbon-14 by all living things.Clearly visible in the canyon walls are the light-colored granites, such as the Zoroaster Granite, which are stark against the darker, folded strata of the Vishnu Schist and the other metamorphic rock units of the Granite Gorge Metamorphic Suite (see lowest purple and green shading in diagram).These are former sedimentary and volcanic strata that have been transformed by heat and pressure, possibly during the intense upheavals when the dry land was formed on Day 3 of Creation Week.In some outcrops pillow structures have been preserved, testimony to the basalt lavas having originally erupted and flowed under water onto the Creation Week ocean floor.Metamorphic rocks are not always easy to date using radio-isotopes.

Deep inside the Inner Gorge of Grand Canyon, northern Arizona, are the crystalline basement rocks that probably date back even to the Creation Week itself.

Among these metamorphosed volcanic strata are amphibolites, belonging to the Brahma Schist.

These were originally basalt lava flows several meters to tens of meters thick.

Radioactive elements are unstable; they breakdown spontaneously into more stable atoms over time, a process known as radioactive decay.

Radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate, specific to each radioactive isotope.

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