Volcanic ash used dating fossils


06-Jul-2020 22:15

The narrower a range of time that an animal lived, the better it is as an index of a specific time.

No bones about it, fossils are important age markers.

On the other hand, the half-life of the isotope potassium 40 as it decays to argon is 1.26 billion years.

So carbon 14 is used to date materials that aren’t that old geologically, say in the tens of thousands of years, while potassium-argon dating can be used to determine the ages of much older materials, in the millions and billions year range.

volcanic ash used dating fossils-11

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Absolute age dating: Have students work alone or in pairs to find an article or paper that uses radiometric age dating.

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.



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