What is one advantage of radioactive dating over relative dating

Posted by / 29-Jun-2020 13:31

What is one advantage of radioactive dating over relative dating

Radioactive dating enables geologists to record the history of the earth and its events, such as the dinosaur era, within what they call the geologic time scale.

Radioactive dating uses the ratios of isotopes and their specific decay products to determine the ages of rocks, fossils, and other substances.

This uses radioactive minerals that occur in rocks and fossils almost like a geological clock.

While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.So, often layers of volcanic rocks above and below the layers containing fossils can be dated to provide a date range for the fossil containing rocks.The atoms in some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.Typically commonly occurring fossils that had a widespread geographic distribution such as brachiopods, trilobites, and ammonites work best as index fossils.If the fossil you are trying to date occurs alongside one of these index fossils, then the fossil you are dating must fall into the age range of the index fossil. In a hypothetical example, a rock formation contains fossils of a type of brachiopod known to occur between 410 and 420 million years.

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Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.

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