Dating the Moon: Teaching Lunar Stratigraphy and the Nature of Science

Alfred R. Overviews of Earth Sciences. Fundamentals of Physical Geography : Designed as an online textbook for university and college students studying introductory Physical Geography. It will contain over pages of information and more than 3-D and animated graphics. This Dynamic Earth : Text and figures from a book published by the U. Geological Survey. In addition to featured articles, the “Touring the Web” page lists many fine websites. Geology Article Links : Continental Drift, crust composition, how rocks are made, groundwater, glaciation, and geophysical processes. Geophysics on the Internet : Check out a database of some links searchable by type handouts, data, maps, student projects or key word.

Introduction to Geology

Relative Dating Prior to the availability of radiocarbon dates and when there is no material suitable for a radiocarbon date scientists used a system of relative dating. Relative dating establishes the sequence of physical or cultural events in time. Knowing which events came before or after others allows scientists to analyze the relationships between the events.

An introduction to the study of the moon is presented from a geological point of view. the moon has been determined by applying the law of superposition to lunar terranes Absolute dating and even interplanetary correlation with the earth’s.

Welcome To C rain’s P etrophysical H andbook. Guests Have Restricted Access. Ross Crain, P. This webpage version is the copyrighted intellectual property of the author. Do not copy or distribute in any form without explicit permission. The field is a major academic discipline, and is commercially important for mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, as well as for predicting and understanding earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

It is also an important foundation for many other science and engineering disciplines, including evolutionary biology, paleoclimatology, and geotechnical engineering. In the Roman period, Pliny the Elder wrote in detail of the many minerals and metals then in practical use. Modern geology began in the medieval Islamic world. Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni — AD was one of the earliest Muslim geologists, whose works included the earliest writings on the geology of India, hypothesizing that the Indian subcontinent was once a sea.

Islamic scholar Ibn Sina Avicenna — proposed detailed explanations for the formation of mountains, the origin of earthquakes, and other topics central to modern geology, which provided an essential foundation for the later development of the science. In China, Shen Kua — formulated a hypothesis for the process of land formation. Based on his observation of fossil animal shells in a geological stratum in a mountain hundreds of miles from the ocean, he inferred that the land was formed by erosion of the mountains and by deposition of silt.

Nicolas Steno — is credited with the law of superposition, the principle of original horizontality, and the principle of lateral continuity: three defining principles of stratigraphy.

The moon rock that turned out to be from Earth

Earth formed about 4. What we know about the formation of the solar system comes from two types of studies. First, using powerful instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope we can peer out into the galaxy and look for stars like the sun that appear to be in the process of formation. Although we cannot watch an individual star evolve from a nebula cloud of gas we can study several stars that appear to be at different stages in the process.

Second, we know a lot about the present composition of the solar system, including the composition, size, mass, and density of the planets.

Moon rocks also have been radiometrically dated. Using a combination of radiometric dating, index fossils, and superposition, geologists have.

To login with Google, please enable popups. Sign up. To signup with Google, please enable popups. Sign up with Google or Facebook. To sign up you must be 13 or older. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Already have an account? Log in. It’s the only planet known with life on it, has liquid water, far enough from the Sun for just the right temps. Tidal lock is where one body such as Earths moon rotates on its axis at the same rate it rotates around a body so the same faceis always towards a body.

The dark spots on the surface of the moon oldimpact basins on the moon that are now basaltic rich plains, the volcanism wasnot caused by impact craters. Evidence that impact event caused the extinction of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. Complex craters: over 2km in diameter, has central core or dome of uplifted material surrounded by depressions.

Relative Dating Activity Worksheet

Dating by superposition moon. Choose from top to bottom. Join the late 17th century, the questions below it is the law of superposition moon. Now, impact processes again became dominant on the wavy pattern of dating age markers. Note: relative methods, observations about 4.

from the moon or that they grew inside the rocks. Steno theorized Identifying clues Steno’s ideas for relative dating include superposition, original horizontality​.

The oldest mineral grains yet identified on Earth are about 4. Rocks brought back from the moon by astronauts, and meteorites that have fallen to Earth, are about 4. Because the moon, Earth, and the meteors probably formed at the same time concurrently with the rest of the solar system , we can conclude that the Earth itself is about 4. How do we know that the Morton gneiss is older or younger than other rocks? How do we know the age of any rock?

Using relative age, geologists can show that a particular rock unit is older than some other rock unit without knowing how old either one is in calendar years. They understand the processes by which rocks form, and have developed logical rules based on observable field relationships to establish the relative ages among rock units.

Although we may not be used to thinking of them this way, calendars and clocks are simply convenient devices for counting orbital revolutions and Earth rotations, respectively.


Was the early solar system bombarded with lots of big impacts? This is a question that has puzzled scientists for over 35 years. We know from rocks on Earth that life began to evolve very early on, at least 3. If the Earth was being pummeled by large impacts at this time, this would certainly have affected the evolution of life. In one camp are those that believe the solar system experienced a cataclysm of large impacts about 3.

Earth’s landscapes have been shaped by the influence of the Moon, planets, The separation of “periods” is based upon superposition and relative dating of.

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon before? What I always liked about going there was counting all the layers of rock along the steep-sided canyon. For instance, they reveal stories about colliding continents , meandering streams and volcanic eruptions. In the case of the Grand Canyon, the multi-layered strata provides insight to the age of the Earth. We are able to see cross-sections because the Colorado River started cutting through the Grand Canyon about 6 million years ago.

Even today, these erosional forces are still at work. Unconformities are time gaps in the rock record. This is where rocks have eroded away and we are actually missing rocks without evidence of any record for that time. The Grand Canyon is a prime example of rock superposition and relative dating. Continuous horizontal layers of rock are repeated throughout time. They mostly consist of marine sediments that formed in oceans through compaction.

Relative Dating

In cosmochemistry , chronology involves determining the timing of events that resulted in the formation of the Sun and the planetary bodies that orbit it. There are two different types of ages: relative and absolute. Relative ages tell you the sequence of the events based on the geological principle of superposition, which states that in a sequence of undisturbed sedimentary layers or lava flows, the oldest layers are at the bottom. See the image of the Grand Canyon below for an example. We know that CAIs and chondrules must have formed before the chondrites because the chondrites cannot be older than their components see images below for clarification.

The principle of superposition is used in relative dating of rocks because If a fossil is found in a rock layer, The event that occurred first is the moon formation.

Basic concepts of chemistry are essential to understanding the physical and chemical properties of earth materials minerals, rocks, organic matter, etc. The chemical characteristics of earth materials are reflect the environments how and where they are formed, they also determine their potential fate when exposed to chemical changes. For instance, rocks and minerals formed deep underground may not be stable in the surface environment where they are exposed to water, air, temperature changes, and other physical and chemical conditions.

All matter is made up of atoms , and atoms are made up of atomic particles electrons , protons , and neutrons – see Figure A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number , which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Common examples of elements are iron, copper, silver, gold, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The Periodic Table is a list of known elements arrange by atomic number see Figure Of these, 92 are naturally occurring prior to development of artificial nuclear research and development.

The lightest element, hydrogen, has one proton, whereas the heaviest naturally occurring element, uranium, has 92 protons. Many elements have one or more isotopes. Isotopes are each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties.

Some isotopes are not stable and ultimately break down or change in other elements. I this case, the isotope is considered a radioactive form of an element. Many elements have both stable and radioactive isotopes.

400 #15 – Relative age-dating of rocks; sediments, superposition, hints of deep time