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Geologists choose a dating method that suits the materials available in their rocks. Measuring isotopes is particularly useful for dating igneous and some metamorphic rock, but not sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary rock is made of particles derived from other rocks, so measuring isotopes would date the original rock material, not the sediments they have ended up in.
These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.
The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.
Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.
Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.
In this video I walk you through using the simulation.
As the students work on the simulation they are visualizing how stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time (CCC Stability and Change), as well as analyzing and interpreting data (SP4).
They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.
This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.
Because of their unique decay rates, different elements are used for dating different age ranges.