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7.1: Relative Dating
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Last Updated: July 1, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This article has been viewed 7, times. Learn more Dating fossils is an interesting and enlightening process.
Dating Fossils in the Rocks
How do index fossils help determine age of rock layers? Radiometric dating index that uses the fossils of 39K and 40Ar in potassium-bearing minerals to determine dating absolute age. Any geologic feature that cross-cuts across strata must have formed after the rocks they cut through were deposited. Fossil species succeed each other in a definitive, recognizable order and once a species goes extinct, it disappears and cannot reappear in younger rocks. Layers of strata are dating horizontally, fossils nearly index, and parallel or nearly parallel to the earth's surface.
Relative dating is used to arrange geological events, and the rocks they leave behind, in a sequence. The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy layers of rock are called strata. Relative dating does not provide actual numerical dates for the rocks.