Principles of relative age dating
These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone.
Relative time places events or formations in order based on their position within the rock record relative to one another using six principles of relative dating.
Relative time can not determine the actual year a material was deposited or how long deposition lasted; it simply tell us which events came first.
The regular order of occurrence of fossils in rock layers was discovered around 1800 by William Smith.
As the layers build up, they cement together to form sedimentary rocks.
This means that a quartz sandstone deposited 500 million years ago will look very similar to a quartz sandstone deposited 50 years ago.
Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.
We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!
Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories.
The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah is a great example of Original Horizontality and the Law of Superposition, two important ideas used in relative dating.The most obvious feature of sedimentary rock is its layering.