Dating of sedimentary rocks

From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone.

Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Recent advances in the field of geochronology have led to a greater understanding of the scale and duration of geological processes.

It is currently possible to date igneous and metamorphic rocks by a variety of radiometric methods to within a million years, but establishing the depositional age of sedimentary rocks has remained exceedingly difficult.

Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.

Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.

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These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.As a true sedimentary rock does not have a history of minerals crystallizing from an igneous melt, it is not possible to provide a radiometric date of sedimentary rocks.The exceptions are volcanic ash beds in a conformable sedimentary sequence and volcanic dikes cutting sedimentary strata can be used to provide "older than" and younger than" absolute dates. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner. Selector .selector_results_container.hover_menu.hover_menu:before,.hover_menu:after.hover_menu.show_nub:before.hover_menu.show_nub:after.hover_menu.show_nub.white_bg:after.hover_menu .hover_menu_contents.hover_menu.white_bg .hover_menu_contents. The universe is full of naturally occurring radioactive elements.