Numerical age dating geology

09-Aug-2017 05:27 by 3 Comments

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For example, shells, wood, and other material found in the shoreline deposits of Utah’s prehistoric Lake Bonneville have yielded absolute dates using this method.

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As this example illustrates determining the age of a geologic feature or rock requires the use of both absolute and relative dating techniques.Development of the geologic time scale and dating of formations and rocks relies upon two fundamentally different ways of telling time: relative and absolute.Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.Metamorphic rocks may also be radiometrically dated.However, radiometric dating generally yields the age of metamorphism, not the age of the original rock.Particularly useful are index fossils, geographically widespread fossils that evolved rapidly through time.

Crosscutting Relationships: Relative ages of rocks and events may also be determined using the law of crosscutting relationships, which states that geologic features such as igneous intrusions or faults are younger than the units they cut across.

Relative dating techniques provide geologists abundant evidence of the incredible vastness of geologic time and ancient age of many rocks and formations.

However, in order to place absolute dates on the relative time scale, other dating methods must be considered.

Half-lives of these isotopes and the parent-to-daughter ratio in a given rock sample can be measured, then a relatively simple calculation yields the absolute (radiometric) date at which the parent began to decay, i.e., the age of the rock.

Of the three basic rock types, igneous rocks are most suited for radiometric dating.

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