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Steno, who was born on January 1, 1638, traveled Europe studying with many of the great scientists of his day.
The next couple of rules for relative dating were outlined by Darwin’s friend and mentor, Charles Lyell (see Charles Darwin – Geologist).
Lyell (along with the father of geology James Hutton) is credited with defining the next two simple yet powerful principles: The final rule is often credited to William Smith, the man who made the first geologic map of England in the early 1800’s.
Imagine that throughout your life youve taken many pictures. Certain groups of fossil animals and plants occur in the geologic record in a specific order.
Rather than putting them into a photo album they are stacked up in a box. If a scientist finds one of those fossils they can then assume the age of the rock based on the age of the fossil.
Therefore, the igneous intrusion may be below a layer that is older than it.
The USGS has a good introduction of Relative Dating to have you practice putting historical events in the correct order.He joined the Catholic Church and eventually became a bishop.In 1938 he was canonized as a saint, and in 1988 he was beatified.They include: Steno’s third principle, which does not really apply directly to relative dating is the Principle of Lateral Continuity.This one states that rock layers are horizontally continuous.Rock layers represent "historical events," so a rock layer is like a page in the book of Earth's geologic history. There are five different pictures of one rock sequence throughout time.Number the pictures from one to five with one being the oldest and five being the youngest.Below each picture choose the process that is taking place in the box above.(Hint for help numbering the boxes refer back to the last three paragraphs.) Write the term that describes the event that happened in the space below the drawing.It doesnt give an exact age but a relative (or comparison) age. Each layer will be successively younger or more recent. Superposition is the principle that says younger rocks lie above older rocks in an undisturbed sequence.This means that you know which events came first, but not the exact time when they happened. Scientists use the fossils of animals to help determine relative age.