1. n. [Geology] The approximate age determination of rocks, fossils or minerals made by comparing whether the material is younger or older than other surrounding material.
What is a relative age example?
For example, the grains within a sedimentary rock are older than the rock; a fragment of sandstone incorporated within a mudstone is older than the mudstone; a fossil bone found in a limestone is older than the limestone.
How do you figure out relative age?
Relative Age Determination. Superposition of rock units is a very simple and straightforward method of relative age determination. The principle states that in a sequence of undeformed sedimentary rocks the oldest beds are at the bottom and the youngest ones are at the top.
Is there any use for a relative age?
Principles of Relative Age. Relative dating doesnt really give us an actual age, but it does put things in sequential order. This allows geologists to determine the age of a rock or strata relative to another rock or strata. So, instead of saying when something happened, it puts events in the order they happened.
What 2 things do scientists use to determine relative age?
The absolute age of a sample is its age in years. This method of determining absolute age is called radiometric dating, and it involves the decay, or breakdown, of radioactive elements. Using radiometric dating, scientists can determine the actual age of a rock. Radiometric dating requires an understanding of isotopes.