Relati ve dating of geological strata

Relative time places events or formations in order based on their position within the rock record relative to one another using six principles of relative dating.

Relative time can not determine the actual year a material was deposited or how long deposition lasted; it simply tell us which events came first.

With this in mind geologist have long known that the deeper a sedimentary rock layer is the older it is, but how old?

Although there might be some mineral differences due to the difference in source rock, most sedimentary rock deposited year after year look very similar to one another.

Absolute dating places events or rocks at a specific time.

If a geologist claims to be younger than his or her co-worker, that is a relative age.

Making this processes even more difficult is the fact that due to plate tectonics some rock layers have been uplifted into mountains and eroded while others have subsided to form basins and be buried by younger sediments.

However, the assumption of contemporaneity may not always be correct.

This is due to the fact that one or both of the objects may have been moved or redeposited into a different location.

The most obvious feature of sedimentary rock is its layering.

This feature is produced by changes in deposition over time.

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Stratigraphy is a branch of geology that studies rock strata with an emphasis on distribution, deposition, age and evidence of past life.

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