Geologic dating lesson
The most common form of relative dating is called stratigraphic succession.This is just a fancy term for the way rock layers are built up and changed by geologic processes.He could be pretty confident that his super awesome dinosaur was about 175 million years old.Stratigraphic and fossil succession are good tools for studying the relative dates of events in Earth's history, but they do not help with numerical dating.In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.He saw that it underwent radioactive decay, or emission of energetic particles to produce new elements.The first method that scientists use to determine the age of rocks is relative dating.In this method, scientists compare different layers of rock to determine an ordered sequence of events in geologic history.
Sort of an offshoot of stratigraphic succession is fossil succession, or a method in which scientists compare fossils in different rock strata to determine the relative ages of each.
One of the biggest jobs of a geologist is establishing the absolute age, in years, of a rock or fossil.
Unlike relative dating, which only tells us the age of rock A compared to rock B, numerical dating tells us the age of rock A in x number of years.
Scientists are always spouting information about the ages of rocks and fossils. Well, they figure it out using two different methods: relative dating and numerical dating.
Let's find out more about these geological dating methods in order to understand how Paul the Paleontologist can be so sure about the age of his dinosaur fossils.
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Scientists know that the layers they see in sedimentary rock were built up in a certain order, from bottom to top.