Relative age dating geologic cross sections

What’s more, if the whole rock is badly weathered, it will be hard to find an intact mineral grain containing radioactive isotopes.You might have noticed that many of the oldest age dates come from a mineral called zircon.I also like this simple exercise, a spin-off from an activity described on the USGS site above.

The half-life of carbon 14, for example, is 5,730 years.

Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.

Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.

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.

Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.

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