This type of dating employs many dating techniques like atomic clocks, carbon dating, annual cycle methods, and trapped electron method.Dendrochronology is another of the popular method of finding the exact age through growth and patterns of thick and thin ring formation in fossil trees.But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?
Though using similar methods, these two techniques differ in certain ways that will be discussed in this article.
As the name implies, relative dating can tell which of the two artifacts is older.
It is possible to tell the number of years ago a particular rock or archeological site had been formed.
Two broad categories of classification methods are relative dating and absolute dating.
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.
The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.
The most popular method of radio dating is radio carbon dating which is possible because of the presence of C-14, an unstable isotope of carbon.
C-14 has a half life of 5730 years which means that only half of the original amount is left in the fossil after 5730 years while half of the remaining amount is left after another 5730 years.
A layer that is higher is of later age than a layer that is lower in order.