What are the 5 principles of relative age dating


  1. 5 principles of relative dating
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Weathering Rinds Rind of chemical weathering formed as water penetrates into rock and minerals are altered to more stable minerals Rind gets thicker with time.

Relative Dating by Weathering Weathering is a function of time B. Relative Dating by Weathering Weathering is a function of time C. Proterozoic and Archean Eons Angular Unconformity: Ordovician and Silurian missing Redwall Limestone: Devonian and Mississipian Disconformity: Principle of Horizontality 2.

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Principle of Superposition Angular unconformity Nonconformity Disconformity 3. Principles of Relative Dating IV. Problem set, due Monday Page 2: Come get help from me if you need it! I will walk through it with you! Principles of Relative Dating Long before radiometric dating was possible, important principles of relative ages of rock units were established. Principle of original horizontality: Because sedimentary particles settle under the influence of gravity, sedimentary layers of rock are deposited horizontally.

Sedimentary rock layers that are not horizontal have been folded or tilted by a tectonic event. Deposition of the sedimentary rocks predates the tectonic event.

  • I. Principles of Relative Dating.
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  • Principles of Relative Dating 2. In any sequence of undisturbed layers of sedimentary rocks, the oldest layer is on the bottom and successively higher layers are successively younger. Layers later can be tilted and deformed, even turned upside down by later tectonic events. The original top and bottom of a sedimentary unit often can be determined from sedimentary structures, such as mud cracks, cross beds, and ripple marks.

    Principles of Relative Dating 3.


    5 principles of relative dating

    Fragments of rock that are enclosed within another rock are older than the enclosing rock. Principles of Relative Dating 4. If an igneous intrusion or a fault cuts a rock unit, then the rock unit is older than the intrusion or fault. The principle of intrusive relationships concerns crosscutting intrusions.

    In geology, when an igneous intrusion cuts across a formation of sedimentary rock , it can be determined that the igneous intrusion is younger than the sedimentary rock. There are a number of different types of intrusions, including stocks, laccoliths , batholiths , sills and dikes. The principle of cross-cutting relationships pertains to the formation of faults and the age of the sequences through which they cut. Faults are younger than the rocks they cut; accordingly, if a fault is found that penetrates some formations but not those on top of it, then the formations that were cut are older than the fault, and the ones that are not cut must be younger than the fault.

    Finding the key bed in these situations may help determine whether the fault is a normal fault or a thrust fault. The principle of inclusions and components explains that, with sedimentary rocks, if inclusions or clasts are found in a formation, then the inclusions must be older than the formation that contains them. For example, in sedimentary rocks, it is common for gravel from an older formation to be ripped up and included in a newer layer. A similar situation with igneous rocks occurs when xenoliths are found.

    These foreign bodies are picked up as magma or lava flows, and are incorporated, later to cool in the matrix. As a result, xenoliths are older than the rock which contains them. The principle of original horizontality states that the deposition of sediments occurs as essentially horizontal beds. Observation of modern marine and non-marine sediments in a wide variety of environments supports this generalization although cross-bedding is inclined, the overall orientation of cross-bedded units is horizontal. The law of superposition states that a sedimentary rock layer in a tectonically undisturbed sequence is younger than the one beneath it and older than the one above it.

    This is because it is not possible for a younger layer to slip beneath a layer previously deposited. This principle allows sedimentary layers to be viewed as a form of vertical time line, a partial or complete record of the time elapsed from deposition of the lowest layer to deposition of the highest bed. The principle of faunal succession is based on the appearance of fossils in sedimentary rocks. As organisms exist at the same time period throughout the world, their presence or sometimes absence may be used to provide a relative age of the formations in which they are found.

    Based on principles laid out by William Smith almost a hundred years before the publication of Charles Darwin 's theory of evolution , the principles of succession were developed independently of evolutionary thought.


    The principle becomes quite complex, however, given the uncertainties of fossilization, the localization of fossil types due to lateral changes in habitat facies change in sedimentary strata , and that not all fossils may be found globally at the same time. The principle of lateral continuity states that layers of sediment initially extend laterally in all directions; in other words, they are laterally continuous. As a result, rocks that are otherwise similar, but are now separated by a valley or other erosional feature, can be assumed to be originally continuous. Layers of sediment do not extend indefinitely; rather, the limits can be recognized and are controlled by the amount and type of sediment available and the size and shape of the sedimentary basin.

    Sediment will continue to be transported to an area and it will eventually be deposited. However, the layer of that material will become thinner as the amount of material lessens away from the source. Often, coarser-grained material can no longer be transported to an area because the transporting medium has insufficient energy to carry it to that location. In its place, the particles that settle from the transporting medium will be finer-grained, and there will be a lateral transition from coarser- to finer-grained material. The lateral variation in sediment within a stratum is known as sedimentary facies.

    If sufficient sedimentary material is available, it will be deposited up to the limits of the sedimentary basin.


    Often, the sedimentary basin is within rocks that are very different from the sediments that are being deposited, in which the lateral limits of the sedimentary layer will be marked by an abrupt change in rock type. Melt inclusions are small parcels or "blobs" of molten rock that are trapped within crystals that grow in the magmas that form igneous rocks.

    The Principle of Superposition tells us that deeper layers of rock are older than shallower layers Relative dating utilizes six fundamental principles to determine the relative age of a formation or event. This follows due to the fact that sedimentary rock is produced from the gradual accumulation of sediment on the surface. Therefore newer sediment is continually deposited on top of previously deposited or older sediment.

    In other words, as sediment fills a depositional basins we would expect the upper most surface of the sediment to be parallel to the horizon. Subsequent layers would follow the same pattern. As sediment weathers and erodes from its source, and as long as it is does not encounter any physical barriers to its movement, the sediment will be deposited in all directions until it thins or fades into a different sediment type. For purposes of relative dating this principle is used to identify faults and erosional features within the rock record.

    The principle of cross-cutting states that any geologic feature that crosses other layers or rock must be younger then the material it cuts across.