What is relative dating techniques

Unlike relative time, absolute time assigns specific ages to events or formations and is typically recorded in years before present.

This process requires much more sophisticated chemical analysis and, although other processes have been developed, often utilizes the decay rates of radioactive isotopes to determine the age of a given material.

The relative dating methods themselves are generally sound when used with good assumptions.

However, when scientists apply relative dating to a preconceived uniformitarianism model, the dating methods are only as good as the model.

This theory held that the past was the key to the future and that processes that formed the layers were the very slow processes that we see forming layers at the bottom of the ocean today. Until Lyell successfully convinced scientists that uniformitarianism was the correct theory, it was believed that the worldwide flood and other catastrophic events were primarily responsible for the formation of the geologic layers and that they didn’t represent long ages.

Later, when radiometric absolute dating methods were developed, they still were not applicable to sedimentary layers.

This process lead to a system of time containing eons, eras, periods, and epochs all determined by their position in the rock record.

Some types of relative dating techniques include climate chronology, dendrochronology, ice core sampling, stratigraphy, and seriation.Ice cores showed the age of a military plane buried in the artic as thousands of years old.Similarly, dendrochronology measures the tree rings in trees and assumes they represent years.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.

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