Radioactive dating of rocks

By looking at other outcrops in the area, our geologist is able to draw a geological map which records how the rocks are related to each other in the field.From the mapped field relationships, it is a simple matter to work out a geological cross-section and the relative timing of the geologic events.Many rocks and organisms contain radioactive isotopes, such as U-235 and C-14.These radioactive isotopes are unstable, decaying over time at a predictable rate.Creationists would generally agree with the above methods and use them in their geological work.From his research, our evolutionary geologist may have discovered that other geologists believe that Sedimentary Rocks A are 200 million years old and Sedimentary Rocks B are 30 million years old.On his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report.

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These samples are carefully cataloged and analyzed with a mass spectrometer.His geological cross-section may look something like Figure 2.Clearly, Sedimentary Rocks A were deposited and deformed before the Volcanic Dyke intruded them.Corina Fiore is a writer and photographer living in suburban Philadelphia. She worked as a staff writer for science texts and has been published in Praxis review materials for beginning Tas Walker A geologist works out the relative age of a rock by carefully studying where the rock is found in the field.

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