Relative age dating of rocks
This follows due to the fact that sedimentary rock is produced from the gradual accumulation of sediment on the surface.Therefore newer sediment is continually deposited on top of previously deposited or older sediment.Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.
As these organisms die they are deposited on the surface along with all other sediments.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.