The term faunal dating refers to the use of animal bones to determine the age of sedimentary layers or objects such as cultural artifacts embedded within those layers. Scientists can determine an approximate age for a layer by examining which species or genera of animals are buried in it. The technique works best if the animals belonged to species that evolved quickly, expanded rapidly over a large area, or suffered a mass extinction.
In addition to providing rough absolute dates for specimens buried in the same stratigraphic unit as the bones, faunal analysis can also provide relative ages for objects buried above or below the fauna-encasing layers. Each year seed-bearing plants release large numbers of pollen grains. This process results in a "rain" of pollen that falls over many types of environments.
Pollen that ends up in lakebeds or peat bogs is the most likely to be preserved, but pollen may also become fossilized in arid conditions if the soil is acidic or cool. Scientists can develop a pollen chronology, or calendar, by noting which species of pollen were deposited earlier in time, that is, residue in deeper sediment or rock layers, than others. A pollen zone is a period of time in which a particular species is much more abundant than any other species of the time.
In most cases, this also reveals much about the climate of the period, because most plants only thrive in specific climatic conditions. Changes in pollen zones can also indicate changes in human activities such as massive deforestation or new types of farming. Pastures for grazing livestock are distinguishable from fields of grain, so changes in the use of the land over time are recorded in the pollen history.
The dates when areas of North America were first settled by immigrants can be determined to within a few years by looking for the introduction of ragweed pollen. Pollen zones are translated into absolute dates by the use of radiocarbon dating. In addition, pollen dating provides relative dates beyond the limits of radiocarbon 40, years , and can be used in some places where radiocarbon dates are unobtainable. Fluorine is found naturally in ground water.
This water comes in contact with skeletal remains under ground. When this occurs, the fluorine in the water saturates the bone, changing the mineral composition. Over time, more and more fluorine incorporates itself into the bone. By comparing the relative amounts of fluorine composition of skeletal remains, one can determine whether the remains were buried at the same time.
A bone with a higher fluorine composition has been buried for a longer period of time. Absolute dating is the term used to describe any dating technique that tells how old a specimen is in years. These are generally analytical methods, and are carried out in a laboratory. Absolute dates are also relative dates, in that they tell which specimens are older or younger than others. Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid. This dating technique of amino acid racimization was first conducted by Hare and Mitterer in , and was popular in the s.
It requires a much smaller sample than radiocarbon dating, and has a longer range, extending up to a few hundred thousand years. Rating Newest Oldest Best Answer: Well, I gave up on relative dating when my cousins started spreading rumors about me Relative dating is done by comparing the locations of the items being dated. If you look at a building, relative dating allows you to say that the first floor was built before the top floor. If you look at an archeological dig, you can say that, in general, the dirt and rock on the surface are younger than the dirt and rock and items beneath them and that the deeper you dig, the older the items you're looking at.
If you look at a series of fossils, say shells or mammal bones, you may be able to see the development of structures that give an indication of which fossils are older. In all these instances, you may be able to tell the relative ages of the items being examined, but you will not necessarily know the actual ages years, years, million years or the amount of time between an older and a younger specimen. To combine the two, suppose that you know that a specific fossil is million years old and that another is 95 million years old.
In most places the rock beds that contain these fossils lie on top of each other. But in an area where a volcanic eruption took place, the beds are separated by a 3 meter layer of lava and ash. By digging down, you find the 95 million year old fossils, then the lava, then the million year old fossils.
I really need help, What are some examples of Relative dating and Absolute dating?
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