Absolute and relative dating examples
The two approaches are often complementary, as when a sequence of occurrences in one context can be correlated with an absolute chronlogy elsewhere.
Local relationships on a single outcrop or archaeological site can often be interpreted to deduce the sequence in which the materials were assembled.
Similarly, in geologic studies, vast quantities of information from widely spaced outcrops have to be integrated.
Some method of correlating rock units must be found.
When rocks are subjected to high temperatures and pressures in mountain roots formed where continents collide, certain datable minerals grow and even regrow to record the timing of such geologic events.
The results suggest that the present-day global tectonic scheme was operative in the distant past as well.plate tectonics has had a profound impact on the scientific understanding of our dynamic planet.
Where this occurs at the edge of a continent, as along the west coast of North and South America, large mountain chains develop with abundant volcanoes and their subvolcanic equivalents.
These units, called igneous rock, or magma in their molten form, constitute major crustal additions.
Continents move, carried on huge slabs, or plates, of dense rock about 100 km (62 miles) thick over a low-friction, partially melted zone (the asthenosphere) below.
In the oceans, new seafloor, created at the globe-circling oceanic ridges, moves away, cools, and sinks back into the mantle in what are known as subduction zones (i.e., long, narrow belts at which one plate descends beneath another).