Chemical techniques of relative dating

Simply stated, each bed in a sequence of sedimentary rocks (or layered volcanic rocks) is younger than the bed below it and older than the bed above it.

Sediments less than about 50,000 years old that contain organic material can be dated based on the radioactive decay of the isotope Carbon 14.

Inclusions: Inclusions, which are fragments of older rock within a younger igneous rock or coarse-grained sedimentary rock, also facilitate relative dating.

Inclusions are useful at contacts with igneous rock bodies where magma moving upward through the crust has dislodged and engulfed pieces of the older surrounding rock.

If a geologist claims to be 45 years old, that is an absolute age.

Superposition: The most basic concept used in relative dating is the law of superposition.

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