Absolute and relative dating examples
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.
Look for “absolute” ages such as cornerstones, dates carved into fresh concrete, or dates stamped on manhole covers.
Absolute age dating: Have students work alone or in pairs to find an article or paper that uses radiometric age dating.
After all, a dinosaur wouldn’t be caught dead next to a trilobite.Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.Different methods have their own limitations, especially with regard to the age range they can measure and the substances they can date.
A common problem with any dating method is that a sample may be contaminated with older or younger material and give a false age.
Chart of a few different isotope half lifes: In reality, geologists tend to mix and match relative and absolute age dates to piece together a geologic history.