U 238 dating

Uranium 235 decays to lead 207, and Thorium 232 decays to lead 208.In addition there is another stable isotope, lead 204, that is entirely primordial and does not form via radioactive decay at all.The uranium and thorium decay systems offer a multitude of radiometric dating options.



Zircon is especially useful because it frequently contains uranium in substitution for zirconium, but does not incorporate lead (as shown by the absence of Lead-204).Thus all the lead in the zircon can be assumed to be radiogenic.Thus any of the radioactive isotopes and its lead daughter product can be used for dating, or a combination may be used.In addition, some of the longer-lived intermediate daughter products have uses in dating.

U-235 decays much faster than U-238 (700 my and 4500 my, respectively).Also, Lead 206 forms only from the decay of U-238 and Lead 207 only from the decay of U-235.



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