As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Your goal is to study the smooth, parallel layers of rock to learn how the land built up over geologic time.
Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.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.Absolute dating places events or rocks at a specific time.If a geologist claims to be younger than his or her co-worker, that is a relative age.The goal of this lecture is come to come to a scientific understanding of geologic time and the age of the Earth.In order to do so we will have to understand the following: To better understand these concepts, let's look at an archeological example: Imagine we are a group of archeologists studying two different trash pits recently discovered on the Tulane University campus and at the Audubon Zoo (where they all aksed for you).In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.