Oceanic Basalt Leads: A New Interpretation and an Independent Age for the Earth

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Science  13 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3798, pp. 252-256
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3798.252


A modified form of a model proposed by Gerling and Shukolyukow is used to study the development of lead isotopic ratios in oceanic basalts. This modified model yields an age for the earth which is calculated to be 4530 ± 40 million years. The significance of this calculation is that it is independent of the knowledge of the ages of the samples studied. It is also found that although the source of the basalts is not generally homogeneous, the differentiation of this source from a closed system has occurred fairly recently geologically. The oldest time for the differentiation, 1230 ± 350 million years ago, has been found for Mid-Atlantic tholeiites.