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Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.
A number of processes could cause the parent substance to be depleted at the top of the magma chamber, or the daughter product to be enriched, both of which would cause the lava erupting earlier to appear very old according to radiometric dating, and lava erupting later to appear younger.
Oftentimes the rate of cooling occurs rapidly enough to prohibit the complete transformation of calcium-rich feldspar into sodium-rich feldspar.
In these instances, the feldspar crystals will have calcium-rich interiors surrounded by zones that are progressively richer in sodium.
But at the same time, it will be enriched in the elements contained in the later forming minerals, namely sodium and potassium.
Further, the silicon content of the melt becomes enriched toward the latter stages of crystallization.
Bowen also demonstrated that if a mineral remained in the melt after it had crystallized, it would react with the remaining melt and produce the next mineral in the sequence shown in Figure 3.6.
Recall that olivine is composed of a single tetrahedra and that the other minerals in this sequence are composed of single chains, double chains, and sheet structures, respectively.The following quote from The Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology by Tarbuck & Lutgens, pp.55-57, (1987), gives us an idea of the tremendous complexity of the processes that occur when magma solidifies.Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.This calls the whole radiometric dating scheme into serious question.