In this activity, you will be able to combine your knowledge of relative dating methods (learned in Activity 7) with the absolute dating method to determine more accurately the geologic history of a region.
Activity 8 is taken from Investigating Earth: A Geology Laboratory Text (1997) by Wiswall and Fletcher.
The discovery of radioactivity and its application to dating rocks is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements affecting the Earth Sciences.
With the discovery of radioactive isotopes more then one hundred years ago, scientists quickly realized that the radioactive decay of materials found in rocks could be used to date the rocks and consequently change the "relative" geologic time scale into an "absolute" time scale.
As these changes have occurred, organisms have evolved, and remnants of some have been preserved as fossils.
A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.
If you have any questions about the lesson materials or assignments, post them to our online discussion forum (not e-mail). While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate!
Paul is super awesome, so I'm going to take him at his word.
Access this lesson's reading by clicking on the Library Resources in Canvas, then clicking on the "E-Reserves" link. 94-95, "Postlab Problem." Record all of your work in a word processing document.
When you have completed this activity, you will be asked to submit your answers electronically by copying and pasting your answers into an online submission form included in module 8 of Canvas.
But really, how do scientists figure out how old their dinosaur bones are?
And, what about other findings like fossil fish, plants and insects?