Compare relative dating and radioactive dating

Knowing when a dinosaur or other animal lived is important because it helps us place them on the evolutionary family tree.Accurate dates also allow us to create sequences of evolutionary change and work out when species appeared or became extinct. These are: Where possible, several different methods are used and each method is repeated to confirm the results obtained and improve accuracy.Argon is gas that gradually builds up within rocks from the decay of radioactive potassium.

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Different methods have their own limitations, especially with regard to the age range they can measure and the substances they can date.

A common problem with any dating method is that a sample may be contaminated with older or younger material and give a false age.

The number of tracks increases over time at a rate that depends on the uranium content.

It is possible to calculate the age of a sample by measuring the uranium content and the density of the fission tracks.

Fossils and other objects that accumulate between these eruptions lie between two different layers of volcanic ash and rock.

An object can be given an approximate date by dating the volcanic layers occurring above and below the object.Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.The age of volcanic rocks and ash can be determined by measuring the proportions of argon (in the form of argon-40) and radioactive potassium within them.Each volcanic eruption produces a new deposit of ash and rock.When you have completed this activity, you will be asked to submit your answers electronically by copying and pasting your answers into an online submission form included in module 8 of Canvas.

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