Relative vs absolute dating of fossils

08-May-2020 05:00

Since relative dating can easily be verified by superposition (the younger bed over the older one), intrusion (the intrusive being younger than the intrusive rock), and use of index fossils (younger fossils in a rock layer make that layer younger than another containing older fossils), relative dating can be confirmed right at the field using one's direct observation.

They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.

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?

Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.

Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.

They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.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?Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.Techniques include tree rings in timbers, radiocarbon dating of wood or bones, and trapped charge dating methods such as thermoluminescence dating of glazed ceramics.