3 types of relative dating

When Paul the Paleontologist brought home that dinosaur fossil, he probably used some type of radiometric dating. His analysis revealed that the superus awesomus dinosaur fossil was about million years old.

Types of relative dating

Radiometric dating can't give us an exact date. Perhaps Paul's dinosaur was or million years old, but either way, Paul has a better approximation of the dinosaur fossil's age than he had with just relative dating.


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  • Methods of Geological Dating: Numerical and Relative Dating.

So, on the evening news, Paul told us the dinosaur walked on Earth million years ago. And, that's how we'll come to understand superus awesomus when we think about how it lived its life. In reality, scientists use a combination of relative and numerical dating to establish the ages of rocks and fossils. Doing radiometric dating on every single rock would be time-consuming and expensive. So, we typically use relative dating to come up with a ballpark and then use numerical dating for special items like fossils.

Paul probably had an idea that superus awesomus was somewhere between and million years old, because he knew about stratigraphic succession and fossil succession.

To get a more accurate date, Paul analyzed the fossil with radiometric dating and came up with the number million. Around the world, scientists use relative dating to figure out how old rocks are in relation to each other. Then, they use numerical dating to figure out actual, approximate ages of rocks. We'll never know exactly how old Paul's dinosaur was, but because of the diligent work of geologists, paleontologists, chemists and physicists, we can be pretty confident in the ages we determine through numerical and relative dating.

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Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists. Try it risk-free for 30 days. An error occurred trying to load this video. Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support. Register to view this lesson Are you a student or a teacher?

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Relative Dating: Which Came First?

I am a student I am a teacher. What teachers are saying about Study. What is Relative Dating? Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds. Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? Numerical and Relative Geological Dating. Principles of Radiometric Dating. Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time.

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Relative Dating - Example 1

Absolute Time in Geology. What is Relative Age? Major Triggers for Mass Wasting: Base Level of a Stream: Classification of Metamorphic Rocks: Introduction to Physical Geology: Intro to Natural Sciences. Middle School Earth Science: Weather and Climate Science: UExcel Weather and Climate: Guns, Germs, and Steel Study Guide. Holt McDougal Introduction to Geography: April Koch April teaches high school science and holds a master's degree in education. Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils. Dating Dinosaur Fossils Consider the following scenario: Relative Dating The first method that scientists use to determine the age of rocks is relative dating.

Fossil succession can be used to determine the relative ages of fossils. Numerical Dating Stratigraphic and fossil succession are good tools for studying the relative dates of events in Earth's history, but they do not help with numerical dating. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Select a subject to preview related courses: Lesson Summary In reality, scientists use a combination of relative and numerical dating to establish the ages of rocks and fossils.

Learning Outcomes Following this video lesson, you will be able to: Describe the relative dating processes of stratigraphic succession and fossil succession Explain how scientists use radioactive decay for numerical dating Summarize how and why scientists use a combination of relative and numerical dating when it comes to rocks and fossils.

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