We know the oldest rocks are at the bottom and the youngest are at the top, but we want some actual dates. Drag and drop the rock sample from each layer onto the dating method you think will tell us its age.
You can help us choose the best absolute dating method for each rock. To learn more about the dating methods, select the image from the lab.
This interactive asks you to choose the best absolute dating method for each layer of rock in a cliff.
Your choice will depend on the material present in each rock. We have found this cliff and collected samples from the layers of sedimentary rocks.
Scientists can use the clocklike behavior of these isotopes to determine the age of rocks, fossils, and even some long-lived organisms.
Layer 3: A thin layer of tephra – a rock made of the ash from a volcanic eruption.
The idea of radioactive decay and half lives, a type of absolute dating, is shown through an activity using M&M's candy and graph paper. Sequencing Time, University of California, Berkeley. This 5-12-grade activity lets students place parts of their own life story into a time line so that they can better understand how geologic time is reconstructed by scientists.
Who's on First, University of California, Berkeley. This website is a book chapter about geologic time. This online version of their informative booklet contains short, content explanations about relative time, major geologic time divisions, index fossils for use in age dating, radiometric dating and the age of the earth.
This group is dedicated to providing information about the scientific method as it concerns the idea of evolution in the Creation/Evolution debate.
The site provides background information about stratigraphic principles and relative time, biostratigraphy (using fossils for relative dating), and radiometric dating.