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Define relative age dating fossils

opinion

An absolute age is one determined usually by mass-spectrometry where an isotope is measured and then an age can be calculated a very very basic explanation. So in the end you can say this fossil is 50 thousand years old always with an associated uncertainty.

Some very straightforward principles are...

We can absolute date materials but it will always have an uncertainty range, we can never know the age with infinite precision. Relative dating is like looking at a multi-layered cake.

The base layer must come first, then the second and then the third.

So I can say the second layer is younger than the first and older than the third but I have no idea whether the cake is 5 minutes or 5 million years old. Relative dating is used commonly when looking at the relative order of geological events. What can complicate relative dating is when the strata is not the right way up!

One has an explicit date...

Sometimes beds of rock can turn over the other way, so be very cautious when relatively dating rocks! What is the difference between absolute age and relative age of fossils?

PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

One has an explicit date and the other is relative. Related questions What is the principle of Uniformitarianism and how is it important to the relative dating of rocks? What is the age of inclusions found in a rock relative to the rock in which they are found? What is the principle of cross-cutting relations and why is it important for relative dating?

MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR EACH GROUP

What forces can disturb relative dating? What is the law of superposition and how can it be used to relatively date rocks?

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