These layers are like bookends -- they give a beginning and an end to the period of time when the sedimentary rock formed. By using radiometric dating to determine the age of igneous brackets , researchers can accurately determine the age of the sedimentary layers between them. Using the basic ideas of bracketing and radiometric dating, researchers have determined the age of rock layers all over the world.
This information has also helped determine the age of the Earth itself.
Why is it difficult to date sedimentary rocks using radiometric dating techniques? | Socratic
While the oldest known rocks on Earth are about 3. Based on the analysis of these samples, scientists estimate that the Earth itself is about 4.
In addition, the oldest known moon rocks are 4. Since the moon and the Earth probably formed at the same time, this supports the current idea of the Earth's age.
You can learn more about fossils, dinosaurs, radiometric dating and related topics by reading through the links below. Radiometric dating isn't the only method of determining the age of rocks. Other techniques include analyzing amino acids and measuring changes in an object's magnetic field. Scientists have also made improvements to the standard radiometric measurements.
For example, by using a laser, researchers can measure parent and daughter atoms in extremely small amounts of matter, making it possible to determine the age of very small samples [source: Saber-tooth Kittens Were Big-boned. An eagle flies over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, April 5, What is the principle of cross-cutting relations and why is it important for relative dating?
What forces can disturb relative dating?
High School Earth Science/Absolute Ages of Rocks
What is the law of superposition and how can it be used to relatively date rocks? What is meant by dating rocks relatively rather than absolutely?
How can fossils be used to determine the relative ages of rock layers? How does the law of crosscutting relationships help scientists determine the relative age of rocks?
Are only sedimentary rocks used for relative age determination? How do index fossils help determine age of rock layers? See all questions in Relative Ages of Rocks.
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