What is the difference between relative and numerical age dating
When ‘parent’ uranium-238 decays, for example, it produces subatomic particles, energy and ‘daughter’ lead-206.Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.An example of this type of aging includes rocks in Canada that scientists identified as being hundreds of million years old.Absolute age is more straight-forward and does not require any other objects for comparison.
It can be determined by looking at the position of rock layers.You have to date the volcanic layer above and below the fossil layer.The age of the fossil will be an age range between the ages of the two volcanic layers. The diagram below shows a portion of the Geologic Time Scale. Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.
Relative age allows scientists to know whether something is older or younger than something else, while absolute age means that scientists know the exact number in years that have passed since the object was created.