Isotope dating of rocks Free old granny chat

The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.Sedimentary rock is made of particles derived from other rocks, so measuring isotopes would date the original rock material, not the sediments they have ended up in.

With absolute age dating, you get a real age in actual years.In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.

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