Relative age dating lab
By doing this, you will unravel the geologic history recorded in the rock record, just as geologists did hundreds of years ago, and still do today. An earlier current-formed ripple set (at bottom of slide) was later modified by a second ripple train migrating at right angles to the first.
Crests of the first set are preserved in the troughs of the second set, hence, the ladderback appearance.
The geologic time scale was initially developed by determining the relative ages of rock units, first in Europe, and then in other parts of the world. To determine which rock units were older and which ones were younger (in a relative sense), geologists devised a number of laws, or principles, to help figure out the sequence of geologic events in a particular locality.
In this lab, you will apply many of these laws and principles to determine the relative sequence of geologic events that created a particular set of rock layers and intrusions.
Mining geologists rely on characteristics of stratigraphy to explore ore and mineral deposits.
This article describes a three-day stratigraphy lab that incorporates relative age dating, ore and fossil deposits, making a geologic model using modeling clay as rock layers, and exploring the ways in which scientists discover mineral deposits (see NSTA Connection for complete student instructions and worksheets).
Engage We designed the engagement to activate prior knowledge and help students make connections between what they know and what they do not, because relative age dating can be a difficult concept to grasp.
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!