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What s up a relative age dating activity answers Law of superposition

  • After this simulation have the students complete a lesson related what they have learned about the ages of the rocks and fossils, but adding in plate motions.
  • In addition, students should discuss which, if any, of the fossils in a particular segment could be utilized as an index fossil.
  • Both parts of the activity can be completed in one class period.
  • In order to align this activity more closely to this practice, teachers should require students to explain and justify each step of their timeline.

By using this information from rock formations in various parts of the world and correlating the studies, forums scientists have been able to establish the geologic time scale. Recognizing unconformities is important for understanding time relationships in sedimentary sequences. Which fossil organisms could possibly be used as index fossils? The principle of inclusions states that any rock fragments that are included in rock must be older than the rock in which they are included. The major difficulty that students may encounter is the concept that extinction is forever.

The worksheet provides the background, procedure and data tables from each dig site organized in a way that the data can be easily transferred and analyzed. After you have arranged the cards in order, write your sequence of letters using each letter only once on a separate piece of paper. All of the fossils represented would be found in sedimentary rocks of marine origin. The dig site number is displayed at the top so students can keep track of which site they are using. In what kinds of rocks might you find the fossils from this activity?

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The activity helps students to understand that long spans of geologic time can be broken down into more manageable segments by using relative ages. Sequence the remaining cards by using the same process. The worksheet has labeled data tables used to organize and interpret the findings of the dig site simulation. This would also mean that fossils found in the deepest layer of rocks in an area would represent the oldest forms of life in that particular rock formation. The near-vertical stripes are blasting drill holes.

On a larger scale, even between continents, fossil evidence can help in correlating rock layers. By correlating fossils from various parts of the world, scientists are able to give relative ages to particular strata. Science and Engineering Practices. Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small. Locally, alcoholic physical characteristics of rocks can be compared and correlated.

Keep in mind that extinction is forever. Again, this exercise is only hypothetical but the experience provided to students can be transferred to actual rock data. The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.


This will enable your teacher to quickly check whether you have the correct sequence. Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural systems. The simulation has instructions on the left side of the screen with a bar that can be scrolled forward as you proceed.

This also means that fossils found in the lowest levels in a sequence of layered rocks represent the oldest record of life there. In this activity students are given a map with a view of the Earth as a whole including the seafloor structures. Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data. Only the age of the rock layers and the Law of Superposition are addressed in this activity. Only one sequence is correct for each activity, but the answer is easily achievable if students can recognize the relationships detailed in the cards.

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If certain fossils are typically found only in a particular rock unit and are found in many places worldwide, they may be useful as index or guide fossils in determining the age of undated strata. But the faults do not appear to continue into the coal seam, and they certainly do not continue into the upper sandstone. This activity does not address any continental shapes, seafloor structures or plate motions. Time factors of millions and billions of years is difficult even for adults to comprehend.

What s up a relative age dating activity answers

By matching partial sequences, dating gothic the truly oldest layers with fossils can be worked out. Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers. An unconformity represents an interruption in the process of deposition of sedimentary rocks.

Relative Dating Answer Key Worksheets - Printable Worksheets

Relative Dating
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Relative Dating Worksheet

Relative Dating Methods Physical Geology

Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age. The simplest and most intuitive way of dating geological features is to look at the relationships between them. This activity does not address any water patterns in each of the simulated dig sites and the ancient land would relate loosely to the layers in the simulated dig site. State the Law of Superposition and explain how this activity illustrates this law. Once these answers are shared and evaluated, students would be prepared for a discussion of the Law of Superposition.

8.2 Relative Dating Methods
  1. In the second part of the activity, students progress to dating rock layers by sequencing fossils found in the different strata.
  2. Another numerical relationship is having the students use a method called radiometric dating to calculate the absolute age of the rock.
  3. Use this information to sequence the cards in a vertical stack of fossils in rock strata.
  4. Name three organisms represented that probably could not be used as index fossils and explain why.
  5. Spread the cards with the nonsense syllables on the table and determine the correct sequence of the eight cards by comparing letters that are common to individual cards and, therefore, overlap.
  6. For example, most limestones represent marine environments, whereas, sandstones with ripple marks might indicate a shoreline habitat or a riverbed.

Find a rock layer that has at least one of the fossils you found in the oldest rock layer. In this activity, students begin a sequencing activity with familiar items - letters written on cards. Using the results of these activities, teachers can then lead students in a discussion of the Law of Superposition and the identification and value of index fossils.

Analyses of rock strata and the fossil record provide only relative dates, not an absolute scale. The data shows a numerical relationship to the age of the rocks. Tilting and erosion of the older rocks took place during this time, and if there was any deposition going on in this area, the evidence of it is now gone.

Activity 7 Relative Dating

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. Each card represents a particular rock layer with a collection of fossils that are found in that particular rock stratum. Carefully examine the second set of cards which have sketches of fossils on them. Specific rock formations are indicative of a particular type of environment existing when the rock was being formed.

For example, students should discuss which fossils are making their first appearance in a particular segment and which fossils have disappeared. In the first part of the activity, students are asked to sequence cards by identifying and ordering overlapping letters found on the cards. This is called relative dating. Using the principle of cross-cutting relationships outlined above, determine the relative ages of these three rock types. Scientists also use direct evidence from observations of the rock layers themselves to help determine the relative age of rock layers.


Only the distribution of fossils and rocks, my girlfriend is still on the age of rock layers and the Law of Superposition are addressed in this activity. Students will create a model and explain it to their peers with their moveable continental plates. Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.

EARTH The African Continent

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