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Relative Dating - Example 1
Figure 2: Other methods come into play when comparing rock layers that are separated by a large distance. Unconformities are often marked by an erosional surface. Why are sedimentary rocks more useful than metamorphic or igneous rocks in establishing the relative ages of rock? Relative dating to determine the age of rocks and fossils Geologists have established a set of principles that can be applied to sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are exposed at the Earth's surface to determine the relative ages of geological events preserved in the rock record. Steno stated that sedimentary rocks are formed in continuous, horizontal layers, with younger layers on top of older layers. Principle of Cross-cutting Relationships i. The Proterozoic rocks of the Grand Canyon Group have been tilted and then eroded to a flat surface prior to deposition of the younger Paleozoic rocks. Hutton realized that an enormous period of time was needed to account for the repeated episodes of deposition, rock formation, uplift, and erosion that led to the formation of an unconformity, like the one at Siccar Point. This is because it is not possible for a younger layer to slip beneath a layer previously deposited.
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