Sedimentary dating

In order to gather this information geologists need to use absolute dating techniques.Absolute dating needs only a small sample of the rock or fossil and can give an ‘exact’ age for that sample.Relative dating does not give a precise age of a rock, but determines whether it is older or younger than another rock – placing rocks in their sequence of formation.There are laws of relative dating which guide geologists to be able to determine the relative age of rocks.Different radioactive isotopes are useful for dating different rock samples, as those with a shorter half-life are only useful for dating younger rocks.Whilst relative dating using stratigraphy is useful in showing the sequence of events in a particular location, such as Musgrave Peninsula at the Auckland Islands, the true age of the rocks can be determined using absolute dating.Geological events being significant occurrences as a result of the earth system.Whilst these islands have been shaped over many thousands of years by events such as weathering and erosion, particularly due to glaciation, the main events which formed the islands were two volcanic eruptions.

As well as the igneous rocks found on the Auckland Islands, there are also sedimentary rocks – sandstone, conglomerate and limestone.This cooling can occur either within the Earth’s crust, or on the surface.The different cooling locations form different types of rocks, and also give an indication as to how the rocks were formed.Limestone is what is known as a chemically precipitated sedimentary rock.These rocks form when mineral compounds accumulate at the bottom of oceans or inland lakes.

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