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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.
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.
However, "relative" dating or time can be an easy concept for students to learn.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.*Life Science: Fossils indicate that many organisms that lived long ago are extinct.Extinction of species is common; most of the species that have lived on the earth no longer exist.
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Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.