Relative dating of sedimentary rocks
This means that a quartz sandstone deposited 500 million years ago will look very similar to a quartz sandstone deposited 50 years ago.Making this processes even more difficult is the fact that due to plate tectonics some rock layers have been uplifted into mountains and eroded while others have subsided to form basins and be buried by younger sediments.Geologists still use Steno's principles, with some refinements and additions.
The principle states that in a sequence of undeformed sedimentary rocks the oldest beds are at the bottom and the youngest ones are at the top.
Free 5-day trial Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.
Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.
Relative time places events or formations in order based on their position within the rock record relative to one another using six principles of relative dating.
Relative time can not determine the actual year a material was deposited or how long deposition lasted; it simply tell us which events came first.
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