Relative age dating exercises
The following question may help clarify this point. The fossils within rock layer OXD i. Return to top Interpretation Questions: If the letters "T" and "C" represent fossils in the oldest rock layer, they are the oldest fossils, or the first fossils formed in the past for this sequence of rock layers. It is recommended that students complete Procedure Set A and answer the associated Interpretation Questions correctly before proceeding to Set B. Figure 2-A gives some background information on the individual fossils. Relative dating tells scientists if a rock layer is "older" or "younger" than another. Keep in mind that extinction is forever.
Stratigraphic Section for Set B. Sequencing the rock layers will show the students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata. The fossils within rock layer OXD i. This will enable your teacher to quickly check whether you have the correct sequence. Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age. This relative time scale divides the vast amount of earth history into various sections based on geological events sea encroachments, mountain-building, and depositional events , and notable biological events appearance, relative abundance, or extinction of certain life forms. The nonsense syllables or letters sometimes overlap other cards and are being used to introduce the students to the concept of sequencing. The first card in the sequence has "Card 1, Set A" in the lower left-hand corner and represents the bottom of the sequence. For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed. It is recommended that students complete Procedure Set A and answer the associated Interpretation Questions correctly before proceeding to Set B. Sequence the remaining cards by using the same process. The cards should be duplicated, laminated, and cut into sets and randomly mixed when given to the students. Starting with the top card, the letters should be in order from youngest to oldest. The brachiopod, crinoid, eurypterid, foraminifera, gastropod, horn coral, pelecypod, and trilobite could probably not be used as index fossils since they overlap more than one stratum. By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata. Arrange them from oldest to youngest with the oldest layer on the bottom and the youngest on top. It is not uncommon to have students reverse the M and D for example and begin the sequence with DM because that is the way they are printed on the card. Each card represents a particular rock layer with a collection of fossils that are found in that particular rock stratum. For Set B , you may want to color code each organism type i. The study and comparison of exposed rock layers or strata in various parts of the earth led scientists in the early 19th century to propose that the rock layers could be correlated from place to place. By matching partial sequences, the truly oldest layers with fossils can be worked out. Use this information to sequence the cards in a vertical stack of fossils in rock strata. Figure 2-A gives some background information on the individual fossils. In reading earth history, these layers would be "read" from bottom to top or oldest to most recent. Once an organism disappears from the sequence it cannot reappear later. The following is a list of fossils in the John Hanley Fossil Teaching Set that may be useful in this activity.
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