Earth science lab relative dating
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The oldest fossil evidence of ancient organisms dates back to 3.5 billion years ago and evidence for biological activity based on isotopic ratios of carbon date back to about 3.85, even up to 4.2 billion years ago, though the carbon isotope ratio evidence is controversial.
If you download the full-resolution version of this picture from the link on the picture, you will be able to see the rover, Opportunity next to the top left crater rim.For example, the highland regions on the Moon have ten times the number of craters as the maria, but radioactive dating (explained in the next chapter) shows that the highlands are approximately 500 million years older than the maria, not ten times older.At a minimum crater-age dating can tell you the ages of surfaces (which surface is older than another).Careful studies of how the craters overlap other craters and other features can be used to develop a history or sequence of the bombardment on the moons and planets. Worlds with less volcanism or erosion or tectonic activity in their history will retain more impact craters since the planet formed.Worlds with more geological or erosional activity will have newer surfaces or craters that have been so worn away as to be unrecognizable. Terrestrial planets have hard surfaces that can be re-shaped by several different processes: impact cratering, volcanism, erosion, and tectonics.
Links to external sites will be displayed in another window.The last stage of that "sweeping up", called the occurred from about 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago.Impacts as large as the one that led to the demise of the dinosaurs in much more recent history were happening about once a month.At such speeds, the projecticle explodes on impact and carves out a round bowl-shaped depression on the surface. How can you distinguish an impact crater from a volcanic crater?Volcano craters are above the surrounding area on mountaintops while the craters from impacts are below the surrounding area with raised rims.Most of the impact basins---craters measured in hundreds of kilometers---were made during this time.