Definition relative dating science

Tree ring dating offers over 1,000 years of clues in dates of artifacts from the American Southwest.Radiocarbon dating provides additional clues necessary for absolute dating.

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Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.Relative dating requires an extensive knowledge of stratigraphic succession, a fancy term for the way rock strata are built up and changed by geologic processes.Relative age dating also means paying attention to crosscutting relationships.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.

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