Dating rock strata

This interactive asks you to choose the best absolute dating method for each layer of rock in a cliff.

Your choice will depend on the material present in each rock. We have found this cliff and collected samples from the layers of sedimentary rocks.

Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.

Fossils can't form in the igneous rock that usually does contain the isotopes.Layer 2: Mudstone – sediments laid down in deep water. Which dating method is best for rocks with fossils in?Layer 3: A thin layer of tephra – a rock made of the ash from a volcanic eruption.In a way this field, called geochronology, is some of the purest detective work earth scientists do.There are two basic approaches: relative age dating, and absolute age dating.

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