Absolute dating versus relative dating

Rated 4.12/5 based on 544 customer reviews

Thus, any deformations of strata (Figures 2 and 3) must have occurred after the rock was deposited.

These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.For example, in the rocks exposed in the walls of the Grand Canyon (Figure 1) there are many horizontal layers, which are called strata.The study of strata is called stratigraphy, and using a few basic principles, it is possible to work out the relative ages of rocks.This method uses the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field, which has changed through time, to determine ages for fossils and rocks.Geologists have established a set of principles that can be applied to sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are exposed at the Earth's surface to determine the relative ages of geological events preserved in the rock record.

Leave a Reply