Relative dating is the same as radioactive dating

The nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes is a process that behaves in a clock-like fashion and is thus a useful tool for determining the absolute age of rocks.Radioactive decay is the process by which a “parent” isotope changes into a “daughter” isotope.Most ancient sedimentary rocks cannot be dated radiometrically, but the laws of superposition and crosscutting relationships can be used to place absolute time limits on layers of sedimentary rocks crosscut or bounded by radiometrically dated igneous rocks.

However, radiometric dating generally yields the age of metamorphism, not the age of the original rock.Development of the geologic time scale and dating of formations and rocks relies upon two fundamentally different ways of telling time: relative and absolute.Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.Many sections of the Wasatch fault disturb or crosscut the Provo shoreline, showing that faulting occurred after the lake dropped below this shoreline which formed about 13,500 years ago.As this example illustrates determining the age of a geologic feature or rock requires the use of both absolute and relative dating techniques.

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