Law of relative dating

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Unlike absolute dating, relative dating does not assign specific years to individual events.

Instead, it seeks to establish which actions occurred where in a sequence of geologic events.

Index fossils are incredibly useful in relative dating.

Because of their boom-and-bust qualities, the presence of an index fossil can be used to assign a relative age to sedimentary rocks in which the fossil occurs.

The law of lateral continuity states that the deposition of sediment is continuous unless there is a barrier or subsequent changes in the landscape break up layers.

This can be a challenging concept to understand, but if you imagine a basin where sediment is deposited, this principle states that the sediment will be equally deposited in this area until there is no more sediment or until the sediment reaches the edge of the basin or another barrier.

Below, we will discuss some major types of fossils and why they are relevant to relative dating.

That is, they become abundant, and then their sensitivity to environmental changes causes them to become extinct.By studying relative dating, you prepare yourself to make your own insights about different kinds of ancient environments and biomes on the APES exam.Relative dating is the process of establishing a sequence of historical events and relative ages of rocks by looking at sedimentary rock formations and their features.Effective index fossils have several characteristics—they are widespread, distinctive, abundant, and limited in geologic time.Most index fossils are marine organisms because fossils form best in marine environments and because oceans allow marine organisms to become widespread and abundant.

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