Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.
Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.
Strata are differentiated from each other by their different colors or compositions and are exposed in cliffs, quarries, and river banks.
These rocks normally form relatively horizontal, parallel layers, with younger layers forming on top.
Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.
Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.
Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.
Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).Paleontology seeks to map out how life evolved across geologic time.A substantial hurdle is the difficulty of working out fossil ages.All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.