What is an example of relative dating

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Once we assume that all rock layers were originally horizontal, we can make another assumption: that the oldest rock layers are furthest toward the bottom, and the youngest rock layers are closest to the top. The forest layer is younger than the mud layer, right? When scientists look at sedimentary rock strata, they essentially see a timeline stretching backwards through history.

The highest layers tell them what happened more recently, and the lowest layers tell them what happened longer ago.

Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.

Relative dating requires an extensive knowledge of stratigraphic succession, a fancy term for the way rock strata are built up and changed by geologic processes.

Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.

Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.

Let's say we find out, through numerical dating, that the rock layer shown above is 70 million years old.

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Now, what if instead of being horizontal, this rock layer was found in a tilted position?There may be a layer missing in the strata, or a set of sedimentary rock on top of metamorphic rock.These interfaces between discontinuous layers of rock are called unconformities.Let's say, in this set of rock strata, that we found a single intrusion of igneous rock punching through the sedimentary layers.We could assume that this igneous intrusion must have happened after the formation of the strata.

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