What is relative dating geology
Let's say that Paul the Paleontologist found an iguanodon fossil in the light green layer shown above.And, he also found a coelophysis fossil in the yellow layer. Of course, the coelophysis, which means that coelophysis came before iguanodon.Recently, he appeared on the evening news to talk about a new dinosaur he just discovered. Paul says he can tell from the fossils that superus awesomus lived on Earth about 175 million years ago.Paul is super awesome, so I'm going to take him at his word.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.In 1896, a French physicist named Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in an element called uranium.He saw that it underwent radioactive decay, or emission of energetic particles to produce new elements.
We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating.In fact, Paul already knows that coelophysis lived around 200 million years ago, while iguanodon lived around 150 million years ago.So, what if Paul found that superus awesomus dinosaur fossil in this middle layer?That means they don't really know how old their rocks actually are.
The key in relative dating is to find an ordered sequence.One of the biggest jobs of a geologist is establishing the absolute age, in years, of a rock or fossil.