Absolute and relative dating examples

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Volcanic rocks – such as tuff and basalt – can be used in dating because they are formed at a particular moment in time, during an eruption.Sedimentary rocks are rarely useful for dating because they are made up of bits of older rocks.A common problem with any dating method is that a sample may be contaminated with older or younger material and give a false age.

These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.Accurate dates also allow us to create sequences of evolutionary change and work out when species appeared or became extinct. These are: Where possible, several different methods are used and each method is repeated to confirm the results obtained and improve accuracy.Different methods have their own limitations, especially with regard to the age range they can measure and the substances they can date.

organisms, geologists employ a variety of techniques.These include some that establish a relative chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to one another or to some known succession of events.

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