3 rules of relative dating

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The principle of inclusions and components explains that, with sedimentary rocks, if inclusions (or clasts) are found in a formation, then the inclusions must be older than the formation that contains them.

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Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.This is because it is not possible for a younger layer to slip beneath a layer previously deposited.The only disturbance that the layers experience is bioturbation, in which animals and/or plants move things in the layers.Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.

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