Relative age dating lab

By doing this, you will unravel the geologic history recorded in the rock record, just as geologists did hundreds of years ago, and still do today. An earlier current-formed ripple set (at bottom of slide) was later modified by a second ripple train migrating at right angles to the first.

Crests of the first set are preserved in the troughs of the second set, hence, the ladderback appearance.

Explore Students are tasked with creating a geologic model of stratigraphic layers with embedded fossils and mineral deposits.

Different colors of modeling clay represent the stratigraphic layers.

On the second lab day, the groups will switch geologic models to discover the fossil and ore deposits of another group's model during the Extend and Elaborate phases (see Figure 1 for an example of one of the geologic models).

Models were built and stored on paper plates and covered with plastic wrap overnight.

To help students begin to think about relative ages, we ask them to consider the ages of their family members.

The lab uses knowledge of relative age dating to simulate a geologist discovering important pieces of evidence related to Earth's history, such as fossils and ore minerals.Mining geologists rely on characteristics of stratigraphy to explore ore and mineral deposits.This article describes a three-day stratigraphy lab that incorporates relative age dating, ore and fossil deposits, making a geologic model using modeling clay as rock layers, and exploring the ways in which scientists discover mineral deposits (see NSTA Connection for complete student instructions and worksheets).Additionally, we talk about the importance of relative age dating in understanding Earth's history.We explain that understanding family history is similar to dating rocks, because it is important to know the ages of family members so we can know when you (the student) were born and other important facts related to the timing of your life.

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