Introduction dating methods
Relative dating places a rock somewhere in a time sequence – one rock is older than some rocks, younger than others – but this does not tell you the actual number of years ago that the rock was formed.However, scientists often need to know actual dates of geological events so they can study landscape and environmental change.It is equally important for professionals in the fields of Earth, Environmental and Archaeological Sciences, who need to know about the range of dating techniques that are available, and about their strengths, limitations and potential applications.Mike Walker does us a huge favor in writing such a detailed, technical account of modern dating methods that range from tree rings (dendochronology) to isotopes (radiometric dating).This was dealt with in the chapter by that name (chapter 1).Second, generation of living organisms from non-living matter, or origin of life.
If archaeologists know how pottery styles, glazes, and techniques have changed over time they can date sites based on the ratio of different kinds of pottery.
A reliable chronology is key to our understanding not only of the dramatic changes in the physical and biotic landscapes that resulted from these major climatic shifts, but also of the important human evolutionary and dispersal events that occurred during this period.
Quaternary Dating Methods describes the different techniques that can be employed to establish a Quaternary timescale, and shows the wide range of contexts in which these can be applied.
The most common relative dating method is stratigraphy.
Other methods include fluorine dating, nitrogen dating, association with bones of extinct fauna, association with certain pollen profiles, association with geological features such as beaches, terraces and river meanders, and the establishment of cultural seriations.