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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.

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Bowen also demonstrated that if a mineral remained in the melt after it had crystallized, it would react with the remaining melt and produce the next mineral in the sequence shown in Figure 3.6.

For this reason, this arrangement of minerals became known as Bowen's reaction series.

Ordinarily, these reactions are not complete so that various amounts of each of these minerals may exist at any given time.

The right branch of the reaction series is a continuum in which the earliest formed calcium-rich feldspar crystals react with the sodium ions contained in the melt to become progressively more sodium rich.

These long time periods are computed by measuring the ratio of daughter to parent substance in a rock and inferring an age based on this ratio.

This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.

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.

The following quote from The Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology by Tarbuck & Lutgens, pp.

55-57, (1987), gives us an idea of the tremendous complexity of the processes that occur when magma solidifies.

Lava (properly called magma before it erupts) fills large underground chambers called magma chambers.

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