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Stratigraphic Superposition - Because of Earth's gravity, deposition of sediment will occur depositing older layers first followed by successively younger layers.

Thus, in a sequence of layers that have not been overturned by a later deformational event, the oldest layers will be on the bottom.

Over time, the layers of sediment harden and immobilize the shell (3).

After millions of years, geologic movements or excavations bring the fossil to the surface (4).

What was the climate on Earth 300 million years ago? When did birds, conifers, dinosaurs, and flowers appear?

One of the great challenges facing geologists is to find answers to such questions.

Below, an ammonite dies and drops to the bottom of the body of water (1).

Photo 1: Many people consider Grand Canyon National Park the world’s premiere geologic landscape and a “geologic wonder”.Nonetheless, how geologists determine the age of rocks is a mystery to many members of the public, and even to many park rangers [see Photo 2], guides, and others who share the canyon’s geologic story with others. ” when geologists say a Grand Canyon rock formed 270 million years ago.Further confusion arises when one publication or geologist says, for example, that the Kaibab Formation is 270 m.y. The same questions arise for the other rock units at Grand Canyon. This article will answer these questions by providing a short primer on geologic dating methods and how they were applied to Grand Canyon rocks.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

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Fossils, buried under layers of sedimentary rock, are vestiges of the past.

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