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Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning.

Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.

On the upper left branch of this reaction series, olivine, the first mineral to form, Ml] react with the remaining melt to become pyroxene.

This reaction will continue until the last mineral in the series, biotite mica, is formed.

Such a large variety of igneous rocks exists that it is logical to assume an equally large variety of magmas must also exist.

For example, at the stage when about 50 percent of the magma has solidified, the melt will be greatly depleted in iron, magnesium, and calcium, because these elements are found in the earliest formed minerals.Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.Evidence of this type led them to look into the possibility that a single magma might produce rocks of varying mineral content. Bowen discovered that as magma cools in the laboratory, certain minerals crystallize first.A pioneering investigation into the crystallization of magma was carried out by N. At successively lower temperature, other minerals begin to crystallize as shown in Figure 3.6.

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