Question: Why are rock formations used for absolute dating?

Absolute dating methods determine how much time has passed since rocks formed by measuring the radioactive decay of isotopes or the effects of radiation on the crystal structure of minerals. Paleomagnetism measures the ancient orientation of the Earths magnetic field to help determine the age of rocks.

What is the geologic time scale and why is it important?

The geologic time scale is an important tool used to portray the history of the Earth—a standard timeline used to describe the age of rocks and fossils, and the events that formed them. It spans Earths entire history and is separated into four principle divisions.

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