Relative dating laws and principles

Nicolaus Steno was a 17th-century Danish geologist.

PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.

By using this information from rock formations in various parts of the world and correlating the studies, scientists have been able to establish the geologic time scale.

This relative time scale divides the vast amount of earth history into various sections based on geological events (sea encroachments, mountain-building, and depositional events), and notable biological events (appearance, relative abundance, or extinction of certain life forms).

However, "relative" dating or time can be an easy concept for students to learn.

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.

Steno's laws of stratigraphy describe the patterns in which rock layers are deposited.

The four laws are the law of superposition, law of original horizontality, law of cross-cutting relationships, and law of lateral continuity.

Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.

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.

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