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If modern lead, for example, from marine sediments or modern basalts has the composition of lead in the Earth and if the lead in the troilite phase of iron meteorites has the composition of primordial lead, then a simple model yields about 4.6 billion years for the age of the Earth.This age is in good agreement with the age of the meteorites and the age of the Moon as determined independently. Continuous 500,000-year climate record from vein calcite in Devils Hole, Nevada. Secular equilibrium: A situation in which the quantity of a radioactive isotope remains constant because its production rate (due to decay of a parent isotope) is equal to its decay rate.Of the four isotopes of lead, two are formed from the uranium isotopes and one is formed from the thorium isotope; only lead-204 is not known to have any long-lived radioactive progenitor.Primordial lead is thought to have been formed by stellar nuclear reactions, released to space by supernovae explosions, and incorporated within the dust cloud that constituted the primordial solar system; the troilite (iron sulfide) phase of iron meteorites contains lead that approximates the primordial composition.

Mass-spectrometric 230Th-234U-238U dating of the Devils Hole calcite vein.

The contributions of uranium/thorium and marine palynology to the dating of the Lake Wangoom pollen record, western plains of Victoria, Australia.

230Th/234U and 14C dating of a late Pleistocene stalagmite in Lobatse II cave, Botswana.

The lead incorporated within the Earth has been evolving continuously from primordial lead and from the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium isotopes.

Thus, the lead isotopic composition of any mineral or rock depends upon its age and the environment from which it was formed; that is, it would depend upon the ratio of uranium plus thorium to lead in the parent material.

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