Start Science 11c3 rules for relative dating

Science 11c3 rules for relative dating

Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.

Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.

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

Relative dating requires an extensive knowledge of stratigraphic succession, a fancy term for the way rock strata are built up and changed by geologic processes.

In this lesson, we'll learn a few basic principles of stratigraphic succession and see whether we can find relative dates for those strange strata we found in the Grand Canyon.

Relative dating does not provide actual numerical dates for the rocks.

Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.

Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.

Correlation can involve matching an undated rock with a dated one at another location.

Now imagine that you come upon a formation like this: What do you think of it? How can you make any conclusions about rock layers that make such a crazy arrangement?

Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.

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