Evidence About Earth’s Past (Book)

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RELATIVE AGE OF ROCKS

- Putting Events in Order

To create the geologic time scale, geologists correlated rock layers. Steno's laws were used to determine the relative ages of rocks. Older rocks are at the bottom and younger rocks are at the top. The early geologic time scale could only show the order of events. The discovery of radioactivity in the late 1800s changed that. Scientists could determine the exact age of some rocks in years. They assigned dates to the time scale divisions. For example, the Jurassic began about 200 million years ago. It lasted for about 55 million years.