Relative and absolute dating of geologic events

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Try It risk-free Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.

Sort of an offshoot of stratigraphic succession is fossil succession, or a method in which scientists compare fossils in different rock strata to determine the relative ages of each.

Let's say that Paul the Paleontologist found an iguanodon fossil in the light green layer shown above.

Relative dating cannot tell us the actual age of a rock; it can only tell us whether one rock is older or younger than another.

The most common form of relative dating is called stratigraphic succession.

The key in relative dating is to find an ordered sequence.

Scientists piece together a story of how one event came before or after another.

In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.Each chapter will include a few questions designed to test your knowledge of material covered in the chapter and in the Internet-based resources. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.So, what if Paul found that superus awesomus dinosaur fossil in this middle layer?He could be pretty confident that his super awesome dinosaur was about 175 million years old.

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