Welcome to GLG101C Introduction to Geology
Fall 2004
Professor James Tyburczy
Department of Geological Sciences  

Chapter 10

The University of California at Berkeley Museum of Paleontology has a great sitre for fossils, dinosaurs, and the history of life

The US Geologic Survey has a good site discussing Geologic Time.



Earth formed 4.5-4.6 billion years ago

Relative ages of rocks versus absolute ages of rocks

Principle of Uniformitarianism - the present is the key to the past

Relative Ages of Rocks

Geologic Time Scale - based on fossil record & stratigraphic correlation


Evidence for old age of the earth


Absolute Ages of Rocks - Radiometric age determination

Radioactivity and radiometric dating - certain isotopes of certain elements undergo spontaneous nuclear decay (the nucleus breaks apart) to form different elements. This process occurs in rocks and can be used to determine the age of rocks.


Results of radiometric age determinations


Origins of Life


Implications of 'Deep Time' (the fact that geological times scales are so very very long)



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©2004, James A. Tyburczy, Department of Geology, Arizona State University
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Last update 10/7/2004ss