Fossils relative absolute dating quiz dating style

14-Apr-2017 04:27

Geologists have studied the order in which fossils appeared and disappeared through time and rocks. Fossils can help to match rocks of the same age, even when you find those rocks a long way apart.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.

But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.

But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.