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Chart of a few different isotope half lifes: In reality, geologists tend to mix and match relative and absolute age dates to piece together a geologic history.If a rock has been partially melted, or otherwise metamorphosed, that causes complications for radiometric (absolute) age dating as well.Like the other kind of dating, geologic dating isn’t always simple.Activity: Further discussion: Good overview as relates to the Grand Canyon: age dating: Use with this cross section of the Grand Canyon from the USGS’s teaching page: Canyon Have students reconstruct a simple geologic history — which are the oldest rocks shown? Are there any that you can’t tell using the Rule of Superposition?Response: The two major types of dating include relative methods and absolute methods.Relative methods focus on comparison of fossils, strata, or other artifacts to determine which is older and which is younger.But the most accurate forms of absolute age dating are radiometric methods. Sedimentary rocks in particular are notoriously radioactive-free zones.
Take students on a neighborhood walk and see what you can observe about age dates around you.
They do not provide “exact” dates for the materials.