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Geologic Time and Fossils

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Matthew Viggiano

on 3 March 2017

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Transcript of Geologic Time and Fossils

Relative Age
- The age of a rock compared to the ages of other rocks.

Absolute Age
- The number of years since the rock formed. Radioactive dating such as Potassium-Argon dating and Carbon-14 dating is used to determine the exact age.
Law of Superposition
- In horizontal layers of sedimentary rock, each layer is older than the layer above it and younger than the layer below it. This principle is used to determine the relative ages of sedimentary rock layers.
Index Fossils
- Provide important evidence for the relative ages of the rock layers in which they occur. Must have lived for a relatively short period of time and in many places.
Geologic Time Scale
- A record of the geological events and life forms in Earth’s history.

2. Geologic time is divided into units of time called eras.
Geologic Time and Fossils
3. Geologists use
to form hypotheses of geological events and time.

- The remains, traces, or imprints of living things that have been preserved in Earth’s crust. Sediments must cover the remains quickly for a fossil to form.
Law of Fossil Succession
- The kinds of animals and plants found as fossils changes over time. This helps determine the relative age of rocks which the fossils are found in.
- The surface where new rock layers meet a much older rock surface beneath them. It is a gap in the geologic record possibly due to erosion of rock layers.
- Period of time from when the Earth was created until 544 million years ago. A time of simple organisms.
Paleozoic Era
- Means “ancient life”. Period of time from 544 to 245 million years ago. A period of more complex sea life and insects.
Mesozoic Era
- Means “middle life”. Period of time from 245 to 66 million years ago. Known as the age of reptiles; time of the dinosaurs.
Cenozoic Era
- Means “recent life”. Period form 66 million years ago to present day. An increase in mammal population.
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