Absolute dating rocks


For a fossil to be a good index fossil, it needs to have lived during one specific time period, be easy to identify and have been abundant and found in many places. If you find ammonites in a rock in the South Island and also in a rock in the North Island, you can say that both rocks are Mesozoic.

Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.

The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon-14 dating.

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Using the basic ideas of bracketing and radiometric dating, researchers have determined the age of rock layers all over the world.

This information has also helped determine the age of the Earth itself.

These layers are like bookends -- they give a beginning and an end to the period of time when the sedimentary rock formed.

By using radiometric dating to determine the age of igneous brackets, researchers can accurately determine the age of the sedimentary layers between them.

The extreme temperatures of the magma would just destroy the bones.