Simple definition relative dating

Potassium-40 on the other hand has a half like of 1.25 billion years and is common in rocks and minerals.

This makes it ideal for dating much older rocks and fossils.

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It’s often much easier to date volcanic rocks than the fossils themselves or the sedimentary rocks they are found in.

Carbon-14, the radioactive isotope of carbon used in carbon dating has a half-life of 5730 years, so it decays too fast.

It can only be used to date fossils younger than about 75,000 years.

The same rock formation also contains a type of trilobite that was known to live 415 to 425 million years ago.

Since the rock formation contains both types of fossils the ago of the rock formation must be in the overlapping date range of 415 to 420 million years.

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