What type of rocks can absolute dating be used for and what does it tell us

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Cart 0. As we learned in the previous lesson, index fossils and superposition are effective methods of determining the relative age of objects. Although relative ages can generally be established on a local scale, the events recorded in rocks from different locations can be integrated into a picture of regional or global scale only if their sequence in time is firmly established. Fossils themselves, and the sedimentary rocks they are found in, are very difficult to date directly. Geologists use radiometric dating to estimate how long ago rocks formed, and to infer the ages of fossils contained within those rocks.

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Dating dinosaurs and other fossils

What can radiometric dating tell you that the law of superposition cannot Identify rock layers.

The problem : By the mid 19th century it was obvious that Earth was much older than years, but how old? Relative dating is used to determine the relative order of past events by comparing the age of one object to another. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

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