Relative dating principles geology

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For example, the principle of superposition states that sedimentary layers are deposited in sequence, and, unless the entire sequence has been turned over by tectonic processes or disrupted by faulting, the layers at the bottom are older than those at the top.The principle of inclusions states that any rock fragments that are included in rock must be older than the rock in which they are included.Correlation with them has helped geologists date many New Zealand rocks, including those containing dinosaurs.Bring relative dating principles to life with the activity Rock layers and relative dating.Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.Geologists have studied the order in which fossils appeared and disappeared through time and rocks. Fossils can help to match rocks of the same age, even when you find those rocks a long way apart.This matching process is called correlation, which has been an important process in constructing geological timescales.

The difference in time between the youngest of the Proterozoic rocks and the oldest of the Paleozoic rocks is close to 300 million years.The simplest and most intuitive way of dating geological features is to look at the relationships between them.There are a few simple rules for doing this, some of which we’ve already looked at in Chapter 6.[SE] The principle of cross-cutting relationships states that any geological feature that cuts across, or disrupts another feature must be younger than the feature that is disrupted.An example of this is given in Figure 8.7, which shows three different sedimentary layers.

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