Start Relative dating of geological features

Relative dating of geological features

Your goal is to study the smooth, parallel layers of rock to learn how the land built up over geologic time.

Inclusions are always older than the sedimentary rock within which they are found.

Other times, geologists discover patterns in rock layers that give them confusing information.

Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.

Because the sedimentary rock had to have formed around the object for it to be encased within the layers, geologists can establish relative dates between the inclusions and the surrounding rock.

Free 5-day trial Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.

Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.

If it had happened before the layers had formed, then we wouldn't see it punching through all the layers; we would only see it going through the layers that had existed at the time that it happened. The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships states that rock formations that cut across other rocks must be younger than the rocks that they cut across.