6 relative dating laws

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Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.Correlation can involve matching an undated rock with a dated one at another location.Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.Many of these organisms have left their remains as fossils in sedimentary rocks.Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.

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Try it risk-free Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.

Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.

Some fossils, called index fossils, are particularly useful in correlating rocks.

For a fossil to be a good index fossil, it needs to have lived during one specific time period, be easy to identify and have been abundant and found in many places. If you find ammonites in a rock in the South Island and also in a rock in the North Island, you can say that both rocks are Mesozoic.

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