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One way is to look at any fossils the rock may contain. When you find layers of rocks in a cliff or hillside, younger rocks are on top of older rocks.

Once they are able to manipulate the cards into the correct sequence, they are asked to do a similar sequencing activity using fossil pictures printed on "rock layer" cards.The discovery of radioactivity and its application to dating rocks is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements affecting the Earth Sciences.With the discovery of radioactive isotopes more then one hundred years ago, scientists quickly realized that the radioactive decay of materials found in rocks could be used to date the rocks and consequently change the "relative" geologic time scale into an "absolute" time scale.In this activity, you will be able to combine your knowledge of relative dating methods (learned in Activity 7) with the absolute dating method to determine more accurately the geologic history of a region.Activity 8 is taken from Investigating Earth: A Geology Laboratory Text (1997) by Wiswall and Fletcher.

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