Relative Dating Exercise Relative Dating Exercise

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Section 2: Relative-Age Dating of Rocks

Click here to access the activities related to the interpretation of geologic sequences. The two intrusions are labeled as X and Z; the surrounding rock called the "country rock" is labeled as D. We have seen that a cliff or a road cut is a local "geologic cross-section" -- a side view of the geology at one location.

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You do not need to complete the second half of this particular exercise about resolving these ambiguities in the relative dating. Sequencing the rock layers will show the students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

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To review our principles of relative dating as applied to such geologic cross-sections, we will make use of a neat learning tool available on the Internet.

Arrange them from oldest to youngest with the oldest layer on the bottom and the youngest on top. Shown below Geology relative dating exercise a real transect across the entire Grand Canyon in two parts.

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What principle s of relative dating did you use in order to arrive at your interpretation of the relative timing of each event?

The Geology of the Grand Canyon: The letters on the other cards have no significance to the sequencing procedure and should be ignored at this time.

Approximately how much higher are the upper rock layers on the North side of the Grand Canyon the Kaibab Plateau than they are on the South side? We will learn more about this method of identifying rock units and geologic time periods in next week's lab. Stratigraphic Section for Set B.


The two intrusions are labeled as X and Z; the surrounding rock called the "country rock" is labeled as D. We will visit it again but only virtually! Please note that none of the letters in this sequence may be reversed and still be correct. Find the youngest layer which has been tilted and the oldest layer which has NOT been tilted.

This map displays the large-scale also called "regional" geologic features they have inferred are present beneath the landscape.

Question 6 8 points: On the South Half, which rock unit is likely to be the youngest most recent?

Relative-Age Dating of Rocks

The sequence must be exactly in the order as written. It is recommended that students complete Procedure Set A and answer the associated Interpretation Questions correctly before proceeding to Set B. The timing of the fault break in the rocks labeled as Q must be included in the sequence of events.

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As geologists piece together the information at various outcrops, they can begin to assemble a "geologic map" like a road map of an entire region consisting of many square miles. Would you say that the upper rock layers in the Grand Canyon follow the Principle of Original Horizontality?

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You can open a larger version of this diagram by clicking on it. List which relative dating principles apply to the order of each event. South Half -- North Half -- Question 5: This rock layer would be younger as indicated by the appearance of new fossils in the rock stratum.

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South Half -- North Half -- Question 8 2 points: Include all the events which can be inferred from the drawing. This profile is composed of both the surface topography and the inferred geology underfoot. What is the approximate elevation of the Colorado River shown by the arrow pointing downwards?

It is not uncommon to have students reverse the M and D for example and begin the sequence with DM Geology relative dating exercise that is the way they are printed on the card.

Find a rock layer that has at least one of the fossils you found in the oldest rock layer.