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K–Ar dating was instrumental in the development of the geomagnetic polarity time scale.
Although it finds the most utility in geological applications, it plays an important role in archaeology.
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Ar (argon), the atom typically remains trapped within the lattice because it is larger than the spaces between the other atoms in a mineral crystal.
But it can escape into the surrounding region when the right conditions are met, such as change in pressure and/or temperature.
Potassium–argon dating, abbreviated K–Ar dating, is a radiometric dating method used in geochronology and archaeology.
It is based on measurement of the product of the radioactive decay of an isotope of potassium (K) into argon (Ar).
One archeological application has been in bracketing the age of archeological deposits at Olduvai Gorge by dating lava flows above and below the deposits.