For purposes of relative dating this principle is used to identify faults and erosional features within the rock record.

Relative Dating of Rock Layers

The principle of cross-cutting states that any geologic feature that crosses other layers or rock must be younger then the material it cuts across. Using this principle any fault or igneous intrusion must be younger than all material it or layers it crosses.

Relative age | Article about relative age by The Free Dictionary

Once a rock is lithified no other material can be incorporated within its internal structure. In order for any material to be included within in the rock it must have been present at the time the rock was lithified. For example, in order to get a pebble inside an igneous rock it must be incorporated when the igneous rock is still molten-- such as when lava flows over the surface.


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Therefore, the piece, or inclusion, must be older than the material it is included in. Lastly the Principle of Fossil Succession. Aside from single-celled bacteria, most living organism reside at or very near the Earth's surface either in continental or oceanic environments.


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  • As these organisms die they are deposited on the surface along with all other sediments. If conditions are right the remains of the dying organisms can then be preserved as fossils within the rock that formed from sediments that covered the remains. Since, all sedimentary rock is formed through the gradual accumulation of sediment at the surface over time, and since the principle of superposition tells us that newer sediment is deposited on top of older sediment, the same must also be true for fossils contained within the sediment.

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    Although this principle is generally applied to relative dating it is also the basis for evolution. As he continued his job as a surveyor, he found the same patterns across England.

    He also found that certain animals were in only certain layers and that they were in the same layers all across England. Due to that discovery, Smith was able to recognize the order that the rocks were formed.

    Relative Dating

    Sixteen years after his discovery, he published a geological map of England showing the rocks of different geologic time eras. The numerical value of relative dating in Chaldean Numerology is: The numerical value of relative dating in Pythagorean Numerology is: Relative dating Relative dating is the science determining the relative order of past events, without necessarily determining their absolute age. Please enter your email address: Are we missing a good definition for relative dating? Don't keep it to yourself Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!