U a e dating

The 235U–207Pb cascade has a half-life of 704 million years and the 238U–206Pb cascade is considerably slower, with a half-life of 4.47 billion years.

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Zircon is very chemically inert and resistant to mechanical weathering—a mixed blessing for geochronologists, as zones or even whole crystals can survive melting of their parent rock with their original uranium-lead age intact.

Other minerals sometimes used for uranium-lead dating include monazite, titanite and two other zirconium minerals, baddeleyite and zirconolite.

However, zircon is so overwhelming a favorite that geologists often just refer to "zircon dating." But even the best geologic methods are imperfect.

If a series of zircon samples has lost different amounts of lead, the samples generate a discordant line.

The upper intercept of the concordia and the discordia line will reflect the original age of formation, while the lower intercept will reflect the age of the event that led to open system behavior and therefore the lead loss; although there has been some disagreement regarding the meaning of the lower intercept ages.

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