Isotopes in the Earth Sciences pp Cite as. Potassium is an alkali metal of Group IA in which its companions are lithium, sodium, rubidium and caesium. One of the most abundant chemical elements in the terrestrial crust, it occurs in many rock-forming minerals such as micas, feldspars, feldspathods, clay minerals and evaporites.
The potassium-argon K-Ar dating method is probably the most widely used technique for determining the absolute ages of crustal geologic events and processes. It is used to determine the ages of formation and thermal histories of potassium-bearing rocks and minerals of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary origin, as well as extraterrestrial meteorites and lunar rocks. The K-Ar method is among the oldest of the geochronological methods; it successfully produces reliable absolute ages of geologic materials. It has been developed and refined for over 50 years.
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