Three laws of relative age dating

Relative dating uses the principles or laws of stratigraphy to order sequences of rock strata.Relative dating not only determines which layers are older or younger, but also gives insight into the paleoenvironments that formed the particular sequence of rock.To deal with many of these problems geologists utilize two types of geologic time: relative time and absolute time.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.The unconformity consists of many vertical tilted layers of grey shale overlaid by many layers of horizontal red sandstone.Playfair later commented that, "the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time." Mc Phee (1998) points out that Hutton removed humans from a specious place in time just as Copernicus had removed humans from a specious position in the universe (p. Hutton gives us three more laws to consider when seeking relative dates for rock layers, one of which, the law of inclusions was described earlier.states any feature that cuts across a rock or sediment must be younger than the rock or sediment through which it cuts.

With out individual time stamps the process of dating these structures could become extremely difficult.Not only did the rock layers indicate changing environments they also revealed that different life forms have existed in different times.The most obvious feature of sedimentary rock is its layering.Theconcept of geologic time or deep time was a logical consequence of this theory.In 1788 John Playfair came to see Hutton’s Unconformity in Inchbonny.

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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.

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