Dating of rock layers

Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.Relative dating requires an extensive knowledge of stratigraphic succession, a fancy term for the way rock strata are built up and changed by geologic processes.Geologists find the cross-cutting principle especially useful for establishing the relative ages of faults and igneous intrusions in sedimentary rocks.Sometimes, geologists find strange things inside the strata, like chunks of metamorphic or igneous rock.Geologists use this type of method all the time to establish relative ages of rocks.Now, what if instead of being horizontal, this rock layer was found in a tilted position?We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.

The highest layers tell them what happened more recently, and the lowest layers tell them what happened longer ago.Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.In this lesson, we'll learn a few basic principles of stratigraphic succession and see whether we can find relative dates for those strange strata we found in the Grand Canyon.In order to establish relative dates, geologists must make an initial assumption about the way rock strata are formed. sediments, which are deposited and compacted in one place over time.

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