Paleontology dating techniques

14-Jun-2016 06:45 by 4 Comments

Paleontology dating techniques

This damage is in the form of tiny marks called fission tracks.

It is initially formed in the molten rock that lies beneath the Earth’s crust.This form of uranium usually decays into a stable lead isotope but the uranium atoms can also split – a process known as fission.During this process the pieces of the atom move apart at high speed, causing damage to the rock or mineral.This technique is, however, useful for providing relative dates for objects found at the same site.Another useful chemical analysis technique involves calculating the amount of nitrogen within a bone.Where the rocks are not strongly folded or tilted it is possible to work out the order in which the layers were formed.

The oldest rocks and fossils are at the bottom and the youngest are on top.

Fossils and other objects that accumulate between these eruptions lie between two different layers of volcanic ash and rock.

An object can be given an approximate date by dating the volcanic layers occurring above and below the object.

The technique can, however, provide the relative ages of bones from the same site.

Most fossils are found in sedimentary rocks deposited in layers.

Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.