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Relative dating. Relative dating is the process of determining the order that things happened in geologic time.

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Presentation on theme: "Relative dating. Relative dating is the process of determining the order that things happened in geologic time."— Presentation transcript:

1 Relative dating

2 Relative dating is the process of determining the order that things happened in geologic time.

3 Principles of Relative Dating Stenos Laws – The Principle of Superposition – The Principle of Original Horizontality – The Principle of Original Lateral Continuity The Principle of Intrusive Relationships The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships

4 Stenos laws Principle of superposition- in a sedimentary sequence, the older beds are on the bottom, and the younger beds are on the top.

5 –The Principle of Original Horizontality states that sediments are deposited in flat, horizontal layers.

6 –The Principle of Original Lateral Continuity When sediment is deposited on the seafloor, the sediment will not only be deposited in a flat layer, it will be a layer that extends for a considerable distance in all directions. In other words, the layer is laterally continuous.

7 The Principle of Intrusive Relationships Where an igneous intrusion cuts across a sequence of sedimentary rock, the relative ages of these two units can be determined. The sedimentary rocks are older than the igneous rock which intrudes them. (In other words, the sedimentary rocks had to be there first, so that the igneous rocks would have something to intrude.) Or, you could say, the intrusion is younger than the rocks it cuts.

8 The Principle of Intrusive Relationships continued Diagram (1): Dike B is younger than Sedimentary Rock A. Erosion surface C is younger than Dike B. Sedimentary Rock D is younger than Erosion Surface C. Diagram (2) Sill B is younger than Sedimentary Rock A. Dike C is younger than sill B. Diagram (3) Stock B is younger than Sedimentary Rock A. Dike C is the youngest.

9 The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships Where a fault cuts across a sequence of sedimentary rock, the relative ages of the fault and the sedimentary sequence can be determined. The fault is younger than the rocks it cuts. The sedimentary rocks are older than the fault which cuts them, because they had to be there first, before they could be faulted.

10 The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships continued Normal fault Reverse fault Examples of faults to illustrate cross-cutting relationships. (1) Unit A is the oldest, followed by B and C. Fault D is the youngest. (2) Unit A is the oldest, followed by B and C. Fault D is younger than C, but older than unit E

11 Using these basic principles, you may determine the order in which different events happened during geologic time.


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