Discovery radioactive dating
The discovery of radioactivity and its application to dating rocks is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements affecting the Earth Sciences.With the discovery of radioactive isotopes more then one hundred years ago, scientists quickly realized that the radioactive decay of materials found in rocks could be used to date the rocks and consequently change the "relative" geologic time scale into an "absolute" time scale.Here is an easy-to understand analogy for your students: relative age dating is like saying that your grandfather is older than you.Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.Electronic course reserves, or "e-Reserves," are articles and book chapters that are available online through the University Libraries.Access this lesson's reading by clicking on the Library Resources in Canvas, then clicking on the "E-Reserves" link. 94-95, "Postlab Problem." Record all of your work in a word processing document.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.
If you have any questions about the lesson materials or assignments, post them to our online discussion forum (not e-mail). While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate!Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.In this activity, you will be able to combine your knowledge of relative dating methods (learned in Activity 7) with the absolute dating method to determine more accurately the geologic history of a region.
These schematic columnar sections contain the stratigraphic sequence for the Transvaal Basin in Africa and the Nabberu Basin and Hamersley Basin in Western Australia.
Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.