MiddleSchoolPortal/Geologic Time: Eons, Eras, and Epochs

MiddleSchoolPortal/Geologic Time: Eons, Eras, and Epochs

The absolute lifetime of a species, be it a first species of plankton or a massive age, is about 2 Ma. Thus recognizing and telling one fossil species from another gives a pretty well defined age of time. Groups of closely related animals live longer from first species. For game there have been horse-shoe crabs since the Lower Paleozoic, but there have been hundreds if not thousands of different species. Marine strata preserve the best fossil records. Paleontologists use the lab and sequential range game of different groups of fossils. Identifying species with easily distinguished shapes is the key to interpreting relative ages. Now that we have used volcanic ash beds or lavas intercalated with sediments to assign absolute radiomentric ages, we know the Cambrian began million years ago.

Geological time

The difficult notion of the enormous expanse of geological time is far beyond what most students and many adults can conceptualise. Students often confuse or attempt to compare the notions of human historical time periods in the order of centuries or millennia with vast geological time scales. They frequently describe very short time periods for geological processes like rock and mountain formation, and perceive the erosion that results in the creation of canyons and valleys as occurring within human time scales.

Further confusion can be created by the less widely held student view that humans have existed for most of geological time or the religious belief held by a few that the age of the Earth is very, very much less than that predicted by current scientific evidence. Current evidence, based on terrestrial and astrophysical data and radioactive isotope dating, suggests the solar system formed along with our Earth around 4, million years ago.

Recent astronomical data confirms that this event was many billions of years after the formation of the universe during the Big Bang.

Within a single locality, geologists are able to determine which rock units are the oldest and which are youngest. This type of analysis is called relative age dating.

Most sedimentary rocks are laid down in flat, horizontal layers. These can later tilt and fold due to tectonic activity, and river cuttings can cause gaps among the layers. Relative dating arranges geological events — and the rocks they leave behind — in a sequence. The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy layers of rock are called strata.

In this activity, students observe rock layers located near Whanganui, watch an animation about how they were formed and use relative dating to work out the order in which rocks were created. Scientists use diagrams and models to communicate information. Students need support and practice to become familiar with and know how to use these science communication tools. This activity is part of our collection on dating the past.


Learn about The Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since , as well as the criteria and nomination process that are used to select the winners. NASA Kids is an excellent site for “kids” of all ages and provides an abundance of information, images, and interesting things to do on astronomy and the space sciences. In this lesson, students learn about sources of high-energy radiation and calculate student exposure to ionizing radiation over the past year. To help students understand the development of the geologic time scale.

Once students begin to grasp “relative” dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of.

Individual lessons begin with an investigation of relative dating Days 1 and 2 in which students apply the Laws of Superposition and Original Horizontality. To make this more relevant to their students, teachers may want to substitute a map of their own state. The unit then shifts into scientifically-based activities, tasking students with creating a 4. Finally, students utilize the concept of index fossils in their analysis of a simple geologic timeline provided in their student guide.

The authors estimate that the unit can be completed in seven class periods. A handout of fossils to complete the Day 4 activity, a student guide and teacher guide are included and can be found at www. The authors include a lengthy list of supplies necessary to implement the unit; teachers should allow themselves adequate time to gather all materials.

MS-LS Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers.

Lab 8: Relative and Absolute Geological Dating Lab

This activity can be used help students gain a better understanding of Relative Age. It can be used as an informal assessment, or even as an interactive notebooking activity. Students will read the story from the “Geologist’s Journal” on page 1. Then, they will cut out the pictures and rock layers on page 2.

For example, rock layers show the sequence of geologic events. The presence also show past periods of massive extinctions and extensive volcanic activity.

Surfing Sites: You must visit all of the surfing sites and write a description of the content of each one. Please note that a web site may consist of many web pages and you should visit enough of these to be able to describe what the entire site is about, not just the home page. Your descriptions should be brief – perhaps a paragraph for each site – but must include 1 a general description of the web site and 2 at least one example of something you learned from the Web site.

Web Exercise: You must 1 describe in detail what you did in the Web Exercise and 2 report to me your results. Be sure to include in your report the answers to any questions which are asked on the web site, copies of any forms which you filled out and any certificates of completion which you receive. Activity 1.

Geologic Time Science Games

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Development of the geologic time scale and dating of formations and rocks relies mudstone of the Brian Head Formation record initiation of volcanic activity in.

How Old is That Rock? How can you tell the age of a rock or to which geologic time period it belongs? One way is to look at any fossils the rock may contain. If any of the fossils are unique to one of the geologic time periods, then the rock was formed during that particular time period. Another way is to use the “What’s on top? When you find layers of rocks in a cliff or hillside, younger rocks are on top of older rocks. But these two methods only give the relative age of rocks–which are younger and which are older.

How do we find out how old a rock is in years? Or how do we know how long ago a particular group of fossilized creatures lived? The age of a rock in years is called its absolute age. Geologists find absolute ages by measuring the amount of certain radioactive elements in the rock. When rocks are formed, small amounts of radioactive elements usually get included.


How old is the universe? How old is our sun? How old is the earth?

Fossils and geological time. Contents. Geological TimeWalk; Mobile App; Posters​; Activities; Related Information. Geological TimeWalk.

Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences , including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences , and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science. Geology describes the structure of the Earth on and beneath its surface, and the processes that have shaped that structure.

It also provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, and also to describe the histories of those rocks. Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics , the evolutionary history of life , and the Earth’s past climates. Geologists use a wide variety of methods to understand the Earth’s structure and evolution, including field work , rock description , geophysical techniques , chemical analysis , physical experiments , and numerical modelling.

In practical terms, geology is important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, evaluating water resources , understanding of natural hazards , the remediation of environmental problems, and providing insights into past climate change. Geology is a major academic discipline , and it plays an important role in geotechnical engineering.

The majority of geological data comes from research on solid Earth materials. These typically fall into one of two categories: rock and unlithified material. The majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth. There are three major types of rock: igneous , sedimentary , and metamorphic.

Geologic Age Dating Explained

Lake Turkana has a geologic history that favored the preservation of fossils. Scientists suggest that the lake as it appears today has only been around for the past , years. The current environment around Lake Turkana is very dry. Over the course of time, though, the area has seen many changes.

Lastly, we will investigate how geologists use the geologic time scale to divide Earth’s history. Presentations: Fossils Presentation · Relative Age Activities.

Geoscience Australia’s Geological TimeWalk is a physical representation of geological time in the landscaped gardens of Geoscience Australia. The TimeWalk leads you on a 1. Since the TimeWalk’s installation in the building in Canberra in , large rock samples have been collected from around Australia and put on display at locations along the TimeWalk that reflect their age. Explore the TimeWalk online The Geological Timewalk is now available online thanks to Google street-view technology which has captured the journey digitally.

Guide your way through the rocks on display and enjoy the walk without having to brave the elements. Timescale Bookmark A simple geological timescale suitable for colour printing at A4 size. The ages and names of major geological time periods and eras are shown. A brief explanation of the geological timescale and how it is developed is provided on the ‘back’. Please note that the timescale is not to scale.

Geological TimeWalk Booklet The Geological TimeWalk booklet describes major geological, climatic and biological events that have occurred over time. Geological events include continental drift, the break-up and amalgamation of continental land masses, mountain building and major volcanic eruptions.

Radiometric Dating

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