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Relative dating practice

The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

The complete "Paleontology and Dinosaurs" module takes approximately four weeks to teach. " activity is a 30-minute introduction to geologic time.

For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed.

Return to top The study and comparison of exposed rock layers or strata in various parts of the earth led scientists in the early 19th century to propose that the rock layers could be correlated from place to place.

Scientists also use direct evidence from observations of the rock layers themselves to help determine the relative age of rock layers.

Specific rock formations are indicative of a particular type of environment existing when the rock was being formed.

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The Law of Superposition, which states that in an undisturbed horizontal sequence of rocks, the oldest rock layers will be on the bottom, with successively younger rocks on top of these, helps geologists correlate rock layers around the world.

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