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Free 5-day trial Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils.
The method compares the amount of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, in samples. It is the main way to learn the age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself.
This 5-12-grade activity introduces students to the idea of sequencing information in overlapping data sets and the Principle of Superposition, which is a core concept in relative dating. Offers history of age dating, stratigraphic principles, rock correlation, fossil correlations, radiometric dating, and the geologic time scale. Short discussion of radioactive dating and stratigraphic principles.
Radiometric Dating and the Geologic Time Scale, The Talk Origins Archive. Provides brief overview of (1) relative dating and stratigraphic methods, (2) absolute dating and radiometric dating, including a table with parent to daughter isotopes and half lives of those isotopes commonly used in radiometric dating, (3) paleomagnetics and (4) geologic time. Includes tables of common radioactive parent isotopes and their stable daughter products, and half lives of common radioactive isotopes.
The geomagnetic polarity timescale method is useful in measuring minerals between 780,000 and 200 million years old in places where there are no volcanic deposits are formed.
This method dates objects by measuring the periodic reversals of the north and south magnetic poles, which have occurred at known times and rates.