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The layers are quite visible in the picture below of a stratigraphic column along the northern bank of Isfjorden, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway.
Corfu described in the Pb, can also be measured.) “These twin decay systems, running at different speeds, allow an immediate verification of the validity of their ages, which must be concordant to be considered valid, although under favorable circumstances, discordant data can be extrapolated to the correct age.” Since uranium is often locked in tightly-bound minerals called zircons, from which parent and daughter product are locked in, the method is thought by modern geologists to provide a reliable clock. Krogh: “Only one answer is the right one, and only that one is good enough.” The progress in developments of the U-Pb method is both a history of technical discoveries and advances, as well as a history of a long struggle toward concordance, toward an understanding of the causes of discordance, and toward ways to eliminate it.
In “A century of U-Pb geochronology: The long quest towards concordance,” Corfu, a geologist at the University of Oslo, described geologists’ frustration at persistent discordance between the two methods. Still, he finds it troubling that there should be discordance if the same physical processes are operating for the same amount of time. Despite the enormous progress achieved in this field, the problems of U-Pb discordance have not yet been completely resolved and will be one of the main hurdles to overcome in the future.
Since 1955 the estimate for the age of the Earth has been based on the assumption that certain meteorite lead isotope ratios are equivalent to the primordial lead isotope ratios on Earth.
In 1972 this assumption was shown to be highly questionable.