Types of relative dating

PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.This would also mean that fossils found in the deepest layer of rocks in an area would represent the oldest forms of life in that particular rock formation.In reading earth history, these layers would be "read" from bottom to top or oldest to most recent.For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed.Return to top The study and comparison of exposed rock layers or strata in various parts of the earth led scientists in the early 19th century to propose that the rock layers could be correlated from place to place.

Once they are able to manipulate the cards into the correct sequence, they are asked to do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures printed on "rock layer" cards.INTRODUCTION Scientists have good evidence that the earth is very old, approximately four and one-half billion years old.Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age.Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.By matching partial sequences, the truly oldest layers with fossils can be worked out.By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata. Relative dating tells scientists if a rock layer is "older" or "younger" than another.The Law of Superposition, which states that in an undisturbed horizontal sequence of rocks, the oldest rock layers will be on the bottom, with successively younger rocks on top of these, helps geologists correlate rock layers around the world.This also means that fossils found in the lowest levels in a sequence of layered rocks represent the oldest record of life there.The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.

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