Types of relative dating methods
With out individual time stamps the process of dating these structures could become extremely difficult.To deal with many of these problems geologists utilize two types of geologic time: relative time and absolute time.
Although no absolute methods were available to establish actual dates, Lyell needed to assign very old dates to the strata to make them consistent with the long eons of time that would be necessary to meet the new uniformitarianism theory developed by James Hutton and himself.Consequently, today the dates assigned to the “standard geologic column” are still based upon Lyell’s assignment where index fossils are used to date the rocks and the rocks are used to date the fossils. Today, it is not surprising that many geologists are rejecting uniformitarianism and embracing catastrophism again.There is much evidence that refutes uniformitarianism. Helens demonstrated that rapid deposition and rapid canyon erosion are a fact. Also, when life forms die they only become fossils when they are buried rapidly. Polystrate tree fossils that extend through multiple layers are common. Consequently, the uniformitarianism model, along with the age assignments of the geologic column, is in doubt.Seriation uses the assumption that once a tool was developed, its use would become more widespread.Stratigraphy uses the assumption that higher layers or strata were laid down after lower layers.