Discordant Potassium-Argon Model and Isochron "Ages" for Cardenas Basalt (Middle Proterozoic) and Associated Diabase of Eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona | The Institute for Creation Research
Discordant Potassium-Argon Model and Isochron "Ages" for Cardenas Basalt (Middle Proterozoic) and Associated Diabase of Eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona

Download PDFDownload Discordant Potassium-Argon Model and Isochron "Ages" for Cardenas Basalt (Middle Proterozoic) and Associated Diabase of Eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona PDF

by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D. and Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D.

Presented at the Fourth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 3–8, 1998. Published in: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh (editor), pp. 35–51, 1998.

© 1998 Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania, USA. All Rights Reserved.


For more than twenty years it has been known that the Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems give discordant “ages” for Cardenas Basalt and associated Proterozoic diabase sills and dikes of Grand Canyon. Thirteen new K-Ar analyses of Proterozoic mafic rocks of Grand Canyon are added to nine published K-Ar analyses. We report a new fourteen-point K-Ar isochron “age” of 516 ± 30 Ma which is strongly discordant with the published Rb-Sr isochron “age” of 1.07 ± 0.07 Ga for Cardenas Basalt. By more than doubling the K-Ar data set we can test explanations for why the discordance exists. Advocates of the Rb-Sr isochron, recognizing the strong geochemical similarity of rubidium and potassium, have not argued for significant potassium addition to these rocks. Addition of potassium during alteration of these rocks would explain the anomously young K-Ar age, but it would also add rubidium and invalidate the Rb-Sr isochron age. Instead, advocates of the Rb-Sr isochron have argued only for significant argon loss. Two argon loss models (episodic loss and continuous loss) are tested in an attempt to explain why these altered rocks have about half the 40Ar required by the conventional Rb-Sr interpretation. Both argon loss models, although attempting to maintain the assumptions of conventional geochronology, fail to explain the data, especially the new data we offer. Three models are proposed as alternatives to argon loss models, but these invalidate using the K-Ar system as conventional geochronology would assume.


Basalt, Diabase, Grand Canyon, Potassium-Argon Dating, Model “Ages”, Isochron “Ages”, Discordance, Argon Leakage Models, Inheritance, Mixing, Change of Decay

For Full Text

Please see the Download PDF link above for the entire article.

The Latest
Continuous Environmental Tracking : An Engineering-Based Model...
Purpose The Institute for Creation Research is engaged in our biggest science initiative in the last two decades, and it could be our most important...

CET: Testing the Cavefish Model
Staff Writer Purpose The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is testing an engineering- based model of rapid biological adaptation called...

Original Biochemistry in Fossils
Purpose In 1997, paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer accidentally stumbled upon what appeared to be blood vessels and blood cells from a T. rex...

Debunking an Iconic Uniformitarian Ice Age Theory
Purpose The Milankovitch, or astronomical, theory holds that the timing of Ice Ages is controlled by slow changes in Earth’s orbital and...

ICR and Explaining the Ice Age
Purpose There is strong geological evidence for an Ice Age, so the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has always been interested in explaining...

Planetary Magnetism
Purpose In 1971, Dr. Thomas Barnes publicized a then “trade secret” of scientists studying the earth’s magnetic field, which...

Cosmology Research
Purpose Taking the Hebrew text of Scripture at face value without inserting gaps or revising the meanings, the universe is only about 6,000 years...

The Coconino Sandstone: Water, not Wind
Purpose The Coconino Sandstone is one of the most well-known formations in Grand Canyon. The blond-colored sandstone, just three layers down from...

Global Stratigraphy Supports a Progressive Worldwide Flood
Purpose Is there geological evidence for a global flood? Is there evidence that the waters rose and peaked on Day 150 as recorded in Genesis 8?...

Human-Chimp DNA Similarity Research Refutes Evolution
Purpose An oft-repeated claim of evolutionary propaganda is that the DNA of chimpanzees and humans is 98.5% identical. This high level of DNA...