Absolute vs relative age dating


24-Sep-2019 10:33

Episodes of global volcanic activity, rifting of continents, folding, and metamorphism are defined by absolute ages.The results suggest that the present-day global tectonic scheme was operative in the distant past as well.Similarly, in geologic studies, vast quantities of information from widely spaced outcrops have to be integrated.Some method of correlating rock units must be found.The same margin of error applies for younger fossiliferous rocks, making absolute dating comparable in precision to that attained using fossils.To achieve this precision, geochronologists have had to develop the ability to isolate certain high-quality minerals that can be shown to have remained closed to migration of the radioactive parent atoms they contain and the daughter atoms formed by radioactive decay over billions of years of geologic time.

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In fact, even in younger rocks, absolute dating is the only way that the fossil record can be calibrated.It is only by correlations that the conditions on different parts of Earth at any particular stage in its history can be deduced.



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