Lead isotopes are commonly used in dating rocks and provide some of the best evidence for the Earth's age. In order to be used as a natural clock to calculate the age of the earth, the processes generating lead isotopes must meet the four conditions of a natural clock: an irreversible process, a uniform rate, an initial condition, and a final condition. Dalrymple cites examples of lead isotope dating that give an age for the earth of about 4. Lead isotopes are important because two different lead isotopes Pb and Pb are produced from the decay series of two different uranium isotopes U and U.
9 U-series disequilibrium methods
In Section 2. However, certain natural processes can disturb this equilibrium situation, such as chemical weathering, precipitation from a solution, re- crystallisation etc. The leads to two new types of chronometric systems: An intermediate daughter isotope in the decay series is separated from its parent nuclide incorporated into a rock or sediment, and decays according to its own half life. A parent nuclide has separated itself from its previous decay products and it takes some time for secular equilibrium to be re-established. This idea is most frequently applied to the U-decay series, notably Th and U. The first type of disequilibrium dating forms the basis of the U- U and Th methods Sections 9. The second forms the basis of the Th- U method Section 9.
Attempts to date cave paintings illustrate the difficulties of radiometric dating, and also show evidence of a young earth. A recent article about U-series dating of Paleolithic art in 11 caves in Spain 1 contained some frank discussions about the wild assumptions that had to be made to date the paintings, and raised some interesting questions about the scientifically accepted age of the Earth. Although Paleolithic art has nothing to do with evolution, the article does give us an opportunity to talk about dating techniques in general, and U-series dating in particular. Furthermore, the measured levels of uranium isotopes are nowhere near what the Old Earth model predicts. All dating methods depend upon measurement of something that varies with time.
Uranium—lead dating , abbreviated U—Pb dating , is one of the oldest  and most refined of the radiometric dating schemes. It can be used to date rocks that formed and crystallised from about 1 million years to over 4. The method is usually applied to zircon.