Relative dating of rocks activities
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.
However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.
The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.
Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.
For example, based on the primate fossil record, scientists know that living primates evolved from fossil primates and that this evolutionary history took tens of millions of years.
The site provides background information about stratigraphic principles and relative time, biostratigraphy (using fossils for relative dating), and radiometric dating. Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.