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Posted by / 15-Oct-2019 18:27

Combining numerical and relative age dating

Absolute age dating usually involves measuring the radioactive decay of isotopes of minerals contained within a rock.

Mass spectrometers are able to precisely measure the ratios of certain isotopes (two or more forms of the same element with the same number of protons, but which differs in the amount of neutrons) of elements to get the absolute (actual numerical) age of a rock.

But how do we talk about time, and how do we know how old our rock formations are?

The geologic timescale is the most common way geologists organize and communicate major periods of the Earth’s past.

For each textbook chapter that is going to be on the test (that is, chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11), I listed all the paragraphs you need to study.

I also added a list of essential concepts you need to be able to handle.

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Through several decades of intense study, paleontologists know which fossils are older than others, so by comparing the fossils in one rock outcrop to another, we can relatively tell which one was deposited first, or which is older.

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