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unit six.ppt - TheAgeoftheEarth ,acceptedageofEarth...

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The Age of the Earth Prior to the 19th century, accepted age of Earth  based on  religious beliefs   ~6,000 years for Western culture (Biblical) Old beyond comprehension (Chinese/Hindu) James Hutton , the“father of geology”, realized  geologic processes require vast amounts of time   Charles Lyell  popularized Hutton’s concepts in      book  Principles of Geology Uniformitarianism / actualism : same processes operating in past are  operating at present - “ The present is the key to the past
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Relative vs. Numerical Age Relative age  - the order of events or objects, from first  (oldest) to last (youngest) Determined by applying simple principles, including  original  horizontality, superposition, lateral continuity, cross-cutting  relationships, inclusions, unconformities,  and  correlation  of rock  units and fossils Numerical age  - the age of events or objects, expressed as a  number or numbers Determined using  radiometric dating  (determining how much  radioactive decay of a specific element has occurred since a rock  formed or an event occurred)
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Relative Age Determination Contacts  - surfaces separating  successive rock layers (beds) Formations  - bodies of rock of  considerable thickness with  recognizable characteristics allowing  them to be distinguished from  adjacent rock layers Original horizontality  - beds of  sediment deposited in water are  initially formed as horizontal or  nearly horizontal layers
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