Question: What is relative dating used for?

Using a variety of methods, geologists are able to determine the age of geological materials to answer the question: how old is this fossil? Relative dating methods are used to describe a sequence of events. These methods use the principles of stratigraphy to place events recorded in rocks from oldest to youngest.

What does relative dating help determine?

Relative dating methods estimate whether an object is younger or older than other things found at the site. Relative dating does not offer specific dates, it simply allows to determine if one artifact, fossil, or stratigraphic layer is older than another.

What is relative age used for?

Relative age is the age of a rock layer (or the fossils it contains) compared to other layers. It can be determined by looking at the position of rock layers. Absolute age is the numeric age of a layer of rocks or fossils. Absolute age can be determined by using radiometric dating.

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