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Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.They complicate the task of relative dating, because they don't give an accurate picture of what happened in geologic history.For example, say we have a layer missing from the rock strata.Since we assume all the layers were originally horizontal, then anything that made them not horizontal had to have happened after the fact.

How do we use the Law of Superposition to establish relative dates? We're not so sure about the next layer down, but the one below it is 100 million years old. Not exactly, but we do know that it's somewhere between 70 and 100 million years old.

Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.

Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.

These items are called inclusions - foreign bodies of rock or mineral enclosed within another rock.

Because the sedimentary rock had to have formed around the object for it to be encased within the layers, geologists can establish relative dates between the inclusions and the surrounding rock.

How do we use the Law of Superposition to establish relative dates? We're not so sure about the next layer down, but the one below it is 100 million years old. Not exactly, but we do know that it's somewhere between 70 and 100 million years old.Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.Relative dating cannot establish absolute age, but it can establish whether one rock is older or younger than another.These items are called inclusions - foreign bodies of rock or mineral enclosed within another rock.Because the sedimentary rock had to have formed around the object for it to be encased within the layers, geologists can establish relative dates between the inclusions and the surrounding rock.Relative dating requires an extensive knowledge of stratigraphic succession, a fancy term for the way rock strata are built up and changed by geologic processes.