5 main principles of relative dating


Aside from single-celled bacteria, most living organism reside at or very near the Earth's surface either in continental or oceanic environments. As these organisms die they are deposited on the surface along with all other sediments. If conditions are right the remains of the dying organisms can then be preserved as fossils within the rock that formed from sediments that covered the remains.

Relative dating

Since, all sedimentary rock is formed through the gradual accumulation of sediment at the surface over time, and since the principle of superposition tells us that newer sediment is deposited on top of older sediment, the same must also be true for fossils contained within the sediment. Although this principle is generally applied to relative dating it is also the basis for evolution. Principles of Relative The Principle of Superposition tells us that deeper layers of rock are older than shallower layers Relative dating utilizes six fundamental principles to determine the relative age of a formation or event.

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Image demonstrating a common use of the principle of lateral continuity Principle of Cross-Cutting tells us that the light colored granite must be older than the darker basalt dike intruding the granite. Principles of Relative 4.

Relative Dating

Steno developed these principles in the context water deposited sediment. It is not clear he was aware of igneous rock formed from lava flows. The principle of faunal succession states that fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite, irreversible, and determinable order. This law was independently discovered by William Smith , a British engineer, while working on excavations for canals in England Winchester, p. Brongniart was the first to use fossils to date rock strata. James Hutton is often considered the father of geology.

Hutton developed the theory of uniformatarianism , which states that geologic events are caused by natural processes, many of which are operating in our own time.


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Put another way, the natural laws that we know about in the present have been constant over the geologic past. The concept of geologic time or deep time was a logical consequence of this theory. The unconformity consists of many vertical tilted layers of grey shale overlaid by many layers of horizontal red sandstone. Playfair later commented that, "the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time. Hutton gives us three more laws to consider when seeking relative dates for rock layers, one of which, the law of inclusions was described earlier. The law of cross-cutting states any feature that cuts across a rock or sediment must be younger than the rock or sediment through which it cuts.

Examples include fractures, faults, and igneous intrusions. Igneous intrusions are sometimes referred to as a seperate principle, the principle of intrusive relationships. Deposition of the sedimentary rocks predates the tectonic event. Principles of Relative Dating 2.

I. Principles of Relative Dating

In any sequence of undisturbed layers of sedimentary rocks, the oldest layer is on the bottom and successively higher layers are successively younger. Layers later can be tilted and deformed, even turned upside down by later tectonic events. The original top and bottom of a sedimentary unit often can be determined from sedimentary structures, such as mud cracks, cross beds, and ripple marks.

Principles of Relative Dating 3. Fragments of rock that are enclosed within another rock are older than the enclosing rock. Principles of Relative Dating 4. If an igneous intrusion or a fault cuts a rock unit, then the rock unit is older than the intrusion or fault. Evidence for intrusion can include baking of the intruded rocks. If you date the igneous rock, you have a limit on the youngest absolute possible age of the rocks minimum age, i.

Principles of Relative Dating 5.

Presentation on theme: "I. Principles of Relative Dating"— Presentation transcript:

Superposition of volcanic rocks: If sedimentary rocks are overlain by a lava flow, they must be older than the flow. If you date the igneous rock, you know the youngest possible absolute age for the sedimentary rocks. Draw and label an angular unconformity.

Now for a little more complicated example. How Old is the Earth i. Weathering of rocks and Sediment Production ii. How Old is the Earth iii. Relative Dating and Sequencing Relative vs. When the age of rock is compared to the ages of other rocks or events in geological time.

Can determine which layers are older than others. Concepts and Principles Geologic Time. Bell Ringer What is the theory of evolution? How do fossil records prove this theory?

5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating 5 main principles of relative dating
5 main principles of relative dating

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