Radiocarbon dating volcanic ash
We know the oldest rocks are at the bottom and the youngest are at the top, but we want some actual dates. Drag and drop the rock sample from each layer onto the dating method you think will tell us its age.You can help us choose the best absolute dating method for each rock. To learn more about the dating methods, select the image from the lab.The Sciencelearn Hub is in the process of converting most of the media to formats supported by touch devices, so please try accessing this resouce on your touch device at a later date.We have found this cliff and collected samples from the layers of sedimentary rocks.The media on this page may not be supported on your device.To continue using the media on this page you may need to access this page on a computer that supports Quick Time video or Abobe Flash.Which dating method is best for volcanic ash containing crystals of zircon?
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.Name: Radiocarbon dating Material used: Organic remains such as wood and seeds Age range: Younger than 60,000 years ago How it works: Measures the amount of radioactive carbon-14 in the organic remains of living things Name: Fission track dating Material used: Volcanic glass, zircon and other crystals Age range: 10,000 to 500 million years ago How it works: Measures radioactivity by counting tracks left in crystals by decaying uranium atoms Name: Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) Material used: Wind-blown sediment with lots of quartz or feldspar mineral grains Age range: Younger than 100,000 years ago How it works: Measures radiation that the mineral receives after it has been buried away from light Name: Fossil correlation Material used: Fossils Age range: All ages How it works: Fossils found in an undated rock are matched to similar fossils found in rocks that have been dated in other places Layer 1: Mudstone – sediments laid down in deep water.Fossils include the belemnite Belemnopsis aucklandica. Which dating method is best for rocks with fossils in?Layer 5: Loess – a rock made from very fine wind-blown dust. Which dating method is best for rocks with feldspar crystals buried in dust?
Layer 6: The remains of old dunes formed from wind-blown sand.