Dating of sedimentary rocks
Studying the layers of rock or strata can also be useful. If a layer of rock containing the fossil is higher up in the sequence that another layer, you know that layer must be younger in age. This can often be complicated by the fact that geological forces can cause faulting and tilting of rocks.Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods.
For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.Then after another 5,000 years half of the remaining parent isotope will have decayed.While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.