September 30, by Beth Geiger. Dinosaurs disappeared about 65 million years ago. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1, years old. How do scientists actually know these ages?
What does RELATIVE DATING mean?
Determining the age of rocks, and any fossils contained within the rocks, is an interesting and ongoing aspect of geology. There are several different ways that geologists can determine the age of rocks, and each method provides information about a slightly different aspect of the rock. Relative dating is when geologists determine the age of a rock or a layer of rocks in relation to the rocks around it. Relative dating does not Become a Study. Try it risk-free for 30 days. Watch 5 minute video clips, get step by step explanations, take practice quizzes and tests to master any topic.
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This technique does not give specific ages to items. It only sequences the age of things or determines if something is older or younger than other things. Some types of relative dating techniques include climate chronology, dendrochronology, ice core sampling, stratigraphy, and seriation. Seriation uses the assumption that once a tool was developed, its use would become more widespread.
Relative dating is used to arrange geological events, and the rocks they leave behind, in a sequence. The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy layers of rock are called strata. Relative dating does not provide actual numerical dates for the rocks. Next time you find a cliff or road cutting with lots of rock strata, try working out the age order using some simple principles:. Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.