Geology, or the study of rocks, can be a fascinating way to learn about the Earth's history.Relative dating is a key component to unlocking the mysteries of the Earth's past.When geologists study layers of rocks, they get a glimpse of the past.
Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.
In Relative Time dating a specific age in years is not given.
This type of dating puts events in their correct chronological order based upon the sedimentary layer in which an object is found.
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stony Brook University.
I study how bone tissue, growth, and metabolism evolve at macroevolutionary time scales. In the late 18 century, James Hutton developed the idea that the layers found in rock outcrops were representations of the story of time on the planet.He concluded, the bottom most layers were deposited first, thus making them the oldest and subsequent layers were progressively younger in age.The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?In some ways, it is a natural record of the Earth's history.