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Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.The man's body was recovered and pieces of tissue were studied for their C content by accelerator mass spectroscopy.The best estimate from this dating technique says the man lived between 33 BC. From the ratio, the time since the formation of the rock can be calculated.Rachel Wood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.Australian National University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.
In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.
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