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Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! Isochron dating can be further separated into ; both techniques are applied frequently to date terrestrial and also extraterrestrial rocks (meteorites).

Isochron dating is useful in the determination of the age of igneous rocks, which have their initial origin in the cooling of liquid magma.

It is also useful to determine the time of metamorphism, shock events (such as the consequence of an asteroid impact) and other events depending of the behaviour of the particular isotopic systems under such events.

The slope of the isochron, , represents the ratio of daughter to parent as used in standard radiometric dating.

Whole rock isochron dating uses the same ideas but instead of different minerals obtained from one rock uses different types of rocks that are derived from a common reservoir; e.g. It is possible to date the differentiation of the precursor melt which then cooled and crystallized into the different types of rocks.

Thus, at the moment of crystallization, the ratio of the concentration of the radiogenic isotope of the daughter element to that of the non-radiogenic isotope is some value independent of the concentration of the parent.The idea of isochrons is this: Suppose X is a parent element that decays in to Y and Z is another isotope of Y not produced by radioactive decay. Since Y and Z are isotopes, we would assume they have similar chemical properties.Let's assume that initially, the ratio of y and z is constant, and then X begins decaying to Y.Note that the scale on the horizontal axis is now 10 times greater than the vertical axis.

Move the slider and watch the slope of the isochron change over time.Indeed the initial amount of the daughter product can be determined using isochron dating.