Rules and principles of relative dating

Stratigraphy is a branch of geology that studies rock strata with an emphasis on distribution, deposition, age and evidence of past life.Nicolas Steno, William Smith, Georges Cuvier, Alexandre Brongniart, and James Hutton developed the basic rules for the science of stratigraphy.(light brown) Next, fossil-rich sedimentary rocks were precipitated.These rocks are tilted due to deposition on the non-horizontal surfaces of primitive rocks.The realization that sediments turn into rock was counter to the view that all rocks on Earth formed in a single creation event.Once Steno recognized that the fossils he was contemplating (sharks teeth and sea shells) were formed in the sediments of oceans he was able to work out the basic rules of stratigraphy.

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Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.A chance encounter between determined fishermen and a great white shark off the Tuscan coast in 1666 sparked a chain of events that would help change humans views of fossils and Earth’s geologic past (Cutler 2003, pp. Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) dissected the head of this shark and realized fossil tongue stones believed to be petrified snake or dragon tongues were actually fossil shark teeth (Prothero 1998, p. One problem still existed, how do fossils become embedded in solid rock?Steno recognized that fossils represent organisms that became buried in sediment, which later turned into rock.Relative dating uses the principles or laws of stratigraphy to order sequences of rock strata.Relative dating not only determines which layers are older or younger, but also gives insight into the paleoenvironments that formed the particular sequence of rock.

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