Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events i. In geology, rock or superficial deposits , fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another. Prior to the discovery of radiometric dating in the early 20th century, which provided a means of absolute dating , archaeologists and geologists used relative dating to determine ages of materials. Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique. Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.
Examples of relative dating methods
Potassium-Argon Dating Methods: K-Ar and Ar-Ar Dating
Relative time allows scientists to tell the story of Earth events, but does not provide specific numeric ages, and thus, the rate at which geologic processes operate. Relative dating principles was how scientists interpreted Earth history until the end of the 19th Century. Because science advances as technology advances, the discovery of radioactivity in the late s provided scientists with a new scientific tool called radioisotopic dating. Using this new technology, they could assign specific time units, in this case years, to mineral grains within a rock.
5 Key Principles of Relative Dating in Geology
The key difference between relative dating and radiometric dating is that the dating cannot provide actual numerical dates whereas the radiometric dating can provide actual numerical dates. Relative dating and radiometric dating are two types of parameters that we use to describe the age of geological features and to determine the relative order of past events. Here, we are talking about millions and billions of years.
In the field of Geology, dating is an important term as it is a technique through which evaluation regarding the age and period about the fossil, remains, the archaeologists do valuables and artifacts. At first, there were not many methods of dating were available, but now with advancement in the technology, we mainly have two types of techniques to ascertain ages of ancient belongings. Relative Dating and Absolute Dating are two types of such techniques which are under practice to determine the age of the fossils, objects or civilizations. The relative dating is the technique in the Geology through which the age is determined with relation to the other objects.