Earth History Definitions
Terms in this set (20)
the process in which a scientist determines if rock layers or fossils are younger or older than other rock layers or fossils
Principle of Superposition
The rock layers on the bottom were deposited first, therefore they are the oldest. The rock layers on the top were deposited last, therefore they are the youngest.
Principle of Horizontality
Sedimentary rock layers are deposited horizontally (flat).
Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships
Rock disturbances such as faults, intrusions, folding, and tilting must come after the rock layers are deposited.
a break in the crust of the Earth along which blocks of the crust slide relative to one another; faults are younger than the rocks they cross-cut
rock layers bend and buckle from internal forces inside the Earth
molten from the the interior of Earth that squeezes into existing rock and cools
occurs when internal forces in the Earth slant rock layers
gaps in the record, missing part of a rock sequence; a break in the geologic record created when rock layers are eroded or when sediment is not deposited for a long period of time
the process of showing that rocks of geologic events from different places are the same or similar
remains or evidence of formerly living things
fossils used to define or identify geologic periods-the best method for correlating rocks
geologic time scale
a record of the major events and diversity of life forms present in the history of the Earth
the age of one object compared to the age of another object
geologists use it to estimate how long ago rocks formed, and to infer the ages of fossils contained within these rocks
absolute geologic dating
a method other than relative geologic dating which scientists try to determine the age of geologic evidence
cylinders of ice that are drilled out of glaciers and polar ice sheets
makes up about 75% of the rocks on the surface of the Earth. They form on the surface of the Earth, anywhere that sand, mud, or other types of sediment collect.
disturbs sedimentary rock layers when molten rock forces its way up through the layers above it
changes by forming or making bigger crystals due to heat and pressure
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