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Radioactive dating conflict

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It's called the Principle of Original Horizontality, and it just means what it sounds like: that all rock layers were originally horizontal. As you can imagine, regular sediments, like sand, silt, and clay, tend to accumulate over a wide area with a generally consistent thickness.

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Learn how inclusions and unconformities can tell us stories about the geologic past.Inclusions are always older than the sedimentary rock within which they are found.Other times, geologists discover patterns in rock layers that give them confusing information.Let's say, in this set of rock strata, that we found a single intrusion of igneous rock punching through the sedimentary layers.We could assume that this igneous intrusion must have happened after the formation of the strata.If it had happened before the layers had formed, then we wouldn't see it punching through all the layers; we would only see it going through the layers that had existed at the time that it happened. The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships states that rock formations that cut across other rocks must be younger than the rocks that they cut across.

The same idea applies to fault lines that slide rock layers apart from each other; a fault that cuts across a set of strata must have occurred after the formation of that set.

Geologists use this type of method all the time to establish relative ages of rocks.

Now, what if instead of being horizontal, this rock layer was found in a tilted position?

How do we use the Law of Superposition to establish relative dates?

Let's look at these rock strata here: We have five layers total.

In this lesson, we'll learn a few basic principles of stratigraphic succession and see whether we can find relative dates for those strange strata we found in the Grand Canyon.