Oftentimes the rate of cooling occurs rapidly enough to prohibit the complete transformation of calcium-rich feldspar into sodium-rich feldspar.
Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.
This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating.
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.
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.
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.
As the crystallization process continues, the composition of the melt (liquid portion of a magma, excluding any solid material continually changes.
For example, at the stage when about 50 percent of the magma has solidified, the melt will be greatly depleted in iron, magnesium, and calcium, because these elements are found in the earliest formed minerals.
During the last stage of crystallization, after most of the magma has solidified, the remaining melt will form the minerals quartz, muscovite mica, and potassium feldspar.