Relative and absolute dating activities

Like the other kind of dating, geologic dating isn’t always simple.

Activity: Further discussion: Good overview as relates to the Grand Canyon: age dating: Use with this cross section of the Grand Canyon from the USGS’s teaching page: Canyon Have students reconstruct a simple geologic history — which are the oldest rocks shown? Are there any that you can’t tell using the Rule of Superposition?

Numerical Time: (sometimes called absolute time), dates or durations of events in terms of seconds, .

Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or.

Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.

With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.I also like this simple exercise, a spin-off from an activity described on the USGS site above.Take students on a neighborhood walk and see what you can observe about age dates around you.Chart of a few different isotope half lifes: In reality, geologists tend to mix and match relative and absolute age dates to piece together a geologic history.If a rock has been partially melted, or otherwise metamorphosed, that causes complications for radiometric (absolute) age dating as well.

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The narrower a range of time that an animal lived, the better it is as an index of a specific time.

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