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By Andrew Alden The potassium-argon (K-Ar) isotopic dating method is especially useful for determining the age of lavas.
Developed in the 1950s, it was important in develping plate tectonics and in calibrating the geologic time scale.
The rock sample to be dated must be chosen very carefully.Any alteration or fracturing means that the potassium or the argon or both have been disturbed.The two shadow units were dual-role training units (Operational Conversion Units) that reverted to operational duties, assigned to SACEUR in a European tactical nuclear war. More precise data with squadron identities and basing can be seen using the links below.The Royal Navy's helicopter squadrons are omitted since basing of single helicopters embarked on numerous small escort ships is difficult to collate reliably.The mineral sanidine, the high-temperature form of potassium feldspar, is the most desirable.
But micas, plagioclase, hornblende, clays and other minerals can yield good data, as can whole-rock analyses.