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History of the Earth Vocabulary
Terms in this set (16)
A method to determine the age of a rock or fossil compared to another rock or fossil.
A method to determine the actual age of a rock or fossil.
The era of Earth's history from the formation of Earth 4.5 billion years ago to 540 million years ago; "The Age of Bacteria"
The era of Earth's history from 540 million years ago to 250 million years ago; "The Age of the Fish"
The era of Earth's history from 250 million years ago to 65 million years ago; "The Age of the Reptiles"
The era of Earth's history from 65 million years ago to now; "The Age of Mammals"
A method of finding the age of rocks and fossils based on the amount of radioactive isotopes remaining within the sample.
The amount of time for a radioactive material to lose half of its radioactive elements.
Law of Superposition
When rock layers settle on top of one another, the younger rock layers are above the older layers.
Law of Cross-Cutting
Any rock layer, igneous intrusion, or fault that cuts through a rock layer must be younger than that rock layer.
Law of Inclusions
Pieces of rock that are stuck inside another rock must be older than the rock they are trapped inside.
The fossil of an organism that was only around for a short amount of time, which helps to determine the age of the rock that the fossil was found in.
The supercontinent containing all of land on Earth that is believed to have existed 200-300 million years ago
The unstable atom that exists before it decays into a stable atom. (Unstable atoms struggle to stay together.)
The stable atom that is the result of an unstable atom going through radioactive decay.
The spontaneous breakdown of an unstable atom that causes it to release some energy and matter.
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