Our planet Earth consists of numerous rocks and formations.
Archeologists, geologists, and anthropologists primarily make use of relative dating techniques to understand the sequence of events, in order to establish the facts such as the time period of formation of planet Earth.
Absolute dating places events or rocks at a specific time.
If a geologist claims to be younger than his or her co-worker, that is a relative age.
Development of the geologic time scale and dating of formations and rocks relies upon two fundamentally different ways of telling time: relative and absolute.
Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.
For example, shells, wood, and other material found in the shoreline deposits of Utah’s prehistoric Lake Bonneville have yielded absolute dates using this method.
These distinct shorelines also make excellent relative dating tools.
Superposition: The most basic concept used in relative dating is the law of superposition.Faunal Succession: Similar to the law of superposition is the law of faunal succession, which states that groups of fossil animals and plants occur throughout the geologic record in a distinct and identifiable order.Following this law, sedimentary rocks can be “dated” by their characteristic fossil content.Relative dating techniques provide geologists abundant evidence of the incredible vastness of geologic time and ancient age of many rocks and formations.However, in order to place absolute dates on the relative time scale, other dating methods must be considered.