Because argon is a gas, it should escape to the atmosphere due to the intense heat of the lavas. All flows were typically made up of jumbled blocks of congealed lava, resulting in rough, jagged, clinkery surfaces (Figure 8).Of course, no geologist was present to test this assumption by observing ancient lavas when they cooled, but we can study modern lava flows. The samples were sent progressively in batches to Geochron Laboratories in Cambridge, Boston (USA), for whole-rock potassium-argon (K–Ar) dating—first a piece of one sample from each flow, then a piece of the second sample from each flow after the first set of results was received, and finally, a piece of the third sample from the 30 June 1954 flow.15 To also test the consistency of results within samples, second pieces of two of the 30 June 1954 lava samples were also sent for analysis. No specific location or expected age information was supplied to the laboratory.
See Lubenow, M., The Pigs Took It All, Creation 17(3):36–38, 1995. note, this Creation magazine article by Dr Snelling is based on his technical paper21, which has far more detail about research methods and answers to possible criticisms than was possible in Creation magazine.
Standing roughly in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island, Mt Ngauruhoe is New Zealand’s newest volcano and one of the most active (Figures 1 and 2).
It is not as well publicized as its larger close neighbour MT Ruapehu, which has erupted briefly several times in the last five years.
Afterwards, Ngauruhoe steamed almost continuously, with many small ash eruptions8 (Figure 5).
Cannon-like, highly explosive eruptions in January and March 1974 threw out large quantities of ash as a column into the atmosphere, and as avalanches flowing down the cone’s sides.
The K–Ar method works on the assumption that the “clock” begins to “tick” the moment that the rock hardens.