This left branch is called a discontinuous reaction series because each mineral has a different crystalline structure.
The general idea is that many different minerals are formed, which differ from one another in composition, even though they come from the same magma.
The mineral makeup of an igneous rock is ultimately determined by the chemical composition of the magma from which it crystallized.
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.
Geologists assert that older dates are found deeper down in the geologic column, which they take as evidence that radiometric dating is giving true ages, since it is apparent that rocks that are deeper must be older.
But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column, which is open to question, this can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later.
To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.
Radiometric dating is largely done on rock that has formed from solidified lava.
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.
Ordinarily, these reactions are not complete so that various amounts of each of these minerals may exist at any given time.