ESC1000 Chapter 11 - Geologic Time

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James Usher

Geologist who first attempted to explain how landscapes form and developed the concept of catastrophism.

gastroliths

fossils of stomach stones

catastrophism

Theory which proposed that Earth's various landscapes had been created by a series of fast-acting catastrophic events

James Hutton

Geologist who developed the principle of Uniformitarianism, considered the father of modern geology.

uniformitarianism

Principle that the present is the key to the past, and that by understanding modern processes, we can also understand ancient ones.

relative

Dates that only show what is younger or older than what.

absolute

Dates that give an age as a number (in years).

law of superposition

Key principles in relative dating: __________; principle of original horizontality, principle of cross cutting relations, unconformities, fossil succession

replacement

Process whereby solid parts of an organism are dissolved away and replaced by mineral deposits.

1:15

Ratio of parent (P) to daughter (D) in an isotope that has experienced four half lives.

principle of original horizontality

Key principles in relative dating: law of superposition; __________, principle of cross cutting relations, principle of inclusions, unconformities, fossil succession

casts and molds

Process whereby a structure is completely dissolved away and the void left behind is filled with mineral deposits at a later time.

50,000 or less

Age of items than can be accurately aged using radiocarbon dating.

less, much less

Radiometric dating gets ______accurate as it gets older, because there is _______ parent material left to measure.

coprolites

fossils of poo.

principle of cross cutting relations

Key principles in relative dating: law of superposition; principle of original horizontality, __________, principle of inclusions, unconformities, fossil succession

88

Percentage of the Earth's existence that is included in the Precambrian era

fossil succession

Key principles in relative dating: law of superposition; principle of original horizontality, principle of cross cutting relations, principle of inclusions, unconformities, __________

unconformities

Key principles in relative dating: law of superposition; principle of original horizontality, principle of cross cutting relations, __________, fossil succession, principle of inclusions.

angular unconformity

Three types of unconformaties: __________, disconformity, nonconformity

disconformity

Three types of unconformaties: nonconformity, __________, angular unconformity

nonconformity

Three types of unconformaties: disconformity, __________, angular unconformity

bacteria, jellyfish, worms

Three types of organisms (in alphabetical order) that existed during the end of the Precambrian geological era.

superposition

Law which states that in undeformed sedimentary strata, the oldest rocks will be on the bottom and youngest will be on the top.

last 12

Percent of the Earth's existence over which the fossil records is mostly spread.

540 million

Number of years ago that the Phanerozoic geological era began.

index

Fossils that are used to determine absolute ages.

Phanerozoic

The geological eon in which there is an explosion of fossils.

1:3

Ratio of parent (P) to daughter (D) in an isotope that has experienced two half lives.

Paleozoic

Age of invertebrates, fishes and amphibians

original horizontality

Principle that sediments are generally deposited in horizontal layers, and those that are not have gone through some sort of deformation.

half life

the length of time taken for half of a parent isotope to decay to the daughter isotope. Is fixed for each isotope.

Mesozoic

Age of the reptiles and dinosaurs

trace fossils

Less common type of fossil preservation, such as footprints, burrows and gastroliths.

cross cutting relations

Principle which states that faults and intrusions are younger than the rocks that they are found in.

inclusions

Principle which states that if a mass of rock contains fragments of an adjacent rock body, the mass containing the inclusions must be younger.

1:7

Ratio of parent (P) to daughter (D) in an isotope that has experienced three half lives.

have a short geological range

Three characteristics of index fossils: 1) easy to identify, 2) widespread, 3) ___________.

unconformity

Break in the rock record, created by periods of non-deposition or erosion

disconformity

Unconformity where layers of strata are parallel, but they are separated by a period of non-deposition or erosion.

angular unconformity

Unconformity where tilted or folded strata are overlain by horizontal strata.

4.6 billion

Age of the Earth in years.

non-conformity

unconformity where sedimentary rocks are on top of igneous or metamorphic rocks.

half life

the average rate of decay of an isotope.

Cenozoic

Age of the mammals

easy to identify

Three characteristics of index fossils: 1) ___________, 2) widespread, 3) have a short geological range.

index fossils

Methods of relative dating: correlating geologic columns and __________

correlating geologic columns

Methods of relative dating: __________and index fossils

widespread

Three characteristics of index fossils: 1) easy to identify, 2) ___________, 3) have a short geological range.

1:1

Ratio of parent (P) to daughter (D) in an isotope that has experienced one half life.

correlation

Matching rocks of similar type and age in different localities to build a more complete geologic column.

radiometric dating

Use of radioactive isotopes in rocks to determine their absolute age.

radiocarbon dating

Using carbon-14 to date things from the recent prehistoric past.

Precambrian

name of the geological period that takes up the bulk of the earth's existence.

fossil succession

Principle which states that fossil organisms succeed each other in a definite order, thus rocks that contain them can also be arranged in a definite order.

petrification

Types of fossilization processes: casts and molds, ________, replacement, amber, traces.

replacement

Types of fossilization processes: petrification, amber, ________, casts and molds, traces.

casts and molds

Types of fossilization processes: replacement, ________, amber, petrification, traces.

amber

Types of fossilization processes: replacement, traces, petrification, casts and molds, ________.

traces

Types of fossilization processes: amber, ________, petrification, replacement, casts and molds.

petrification

Process whereby tiny voids in bones and part of the organism are filled by mineral deposits

Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic

Eras of the Phanerozoic in chronological order

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