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GEOLOGIC TIME SCALE

Evidence used to determine age of the Earth is concealed(hidden) in

the rocks that form the Earth's crust and surface. They record the

earth shaping events and episodes of the past.

Two scales are used to date these episodes and to measure the age

of the Earth:
1. A relative time scale ; based on the sequence of layering of the rocks and the

evolution of life; the exact age of a rock or layer is unknown but its age relative to other

rocks or layers

2. A radiometric (absolute) time scale; based on the natural radioactivity of chemical

elements in some of the rocks i.e. an absolute age in years can be assigned to a rock

or layer

Relative time

Geologic Time Scale was based solely on the concept of relative time – i.e. the estimation

of geologic time based on the occurrence of geological events relative to each other
Relative age dating was aided by advances in the following

Uniformity

Superposition

Succession of fauna

Inclusions

Cross cutting relations

Physiographic development
Physiographic development: Continuous and sequential process of landform

modification establishes a predictable continuity which is useful for relative geologic

age dating.

Stratigraphy

The study of the relationship among the strata of the earth’s crust. The

basis of stratigraphy is the concept of superposition (above).

STRATA
Types of Unconformities
1. Angular unconformity: The lower, older beds dip at a different,

higher angle, and maybe a different direction, to the younger,

upper beds.
3. Nonconformity: sedimentary rocks formed at the Earth's

been exposed at the surface by weathering and erosion.

The radiometric time scale is based on the determination of absolute

half-life of the parent.

The most reliable dates are obtained from igneous rocks as the

event.

rocks are invariably composed of particles from several sources.

Potassium – Argon

Carbon 14

Using the methods of absolute and relative dating, geologists have

been able to establish the absolute times for the geologic column.
Geologic Column
Major divisions of Geologic Time with brief explanations of each are

shown in the following scale of relative geologic time (Table 1), which

Mnemonics

• Periods:

• Epochs: