Relative and absolute dating definition

Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.

Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.

The sediment of this area was laid down after ammonite A appeared 199 million years ago, and before ammonite B became extinct 195 million years ago.

This narrows the date of the delta beds to the four million years between these dates.

Studying the layers of rock or strata can also be useful. If a layer of rock containing the fossil is higher up in the sequence that another layer, you know that layer must be younger in age. This can often be complicated by the fact that geological forces can cause faulting and tilting of rocks.

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