From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone.Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.
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Prior to the late 1700's, the accepted method of belief in earth's history was based on a concept called catastrophism.
Catastrophism says that the earth is very young, about 6,000 to 10,000 years old.
Presumably if all the world’s outcrops were integrated, sediments representing all of geologic time would be available for examination.
This optimistic hope, however, must be tempered by the realization that much of the record—older than 541 million years—is missing.
Correlating two separated outcrops means establishing that they share certain characteristics indicative of contemporary formation.
The most useful indication of time equivalence is similar fossil content, provided of course that such remains are present.Put your knowledge of the earth to the test with our fun earth quiz that’s perfect for kids.Learn interesting trivia and answer a range of questions on topics such as rocks, air, deserts, oceans, mountains, gas, volcanoes and more. Give it your best and when you’re done scroll down the page to check your answers.Students, not their school, make the choice to write Optional exams.If students choose to write these exams, results will count for 40 percent of the final course mark.Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.