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Original horizontality relative dating activity

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Windows Original Activity Grade level: Students understand the concept of three dimensional models that describe the Earth. Students deduce relative ages of simulated rock layers based on collected data. Students use teamwork and decision making skills to decide on data collection locations. Students make strike and dip cross-section drawings to describe the relationships between layers of "rock" in their model. Hands-on activity Standards Addressed: For a more straightforward exercise, make the models for groups beforehand, or, for a more open-ended exercise, have student groups make models for other groups.

If students are making models themselves, allow an extra class period and make sure that they have a good understanding of the laws of stratigraphy and, thus, the rules by which layers of sedimentary rock are formed and changed over time so that the models they make reflect what may be found in nature.

This particular model leads to a challenging yet solvable puzzle Original horizontality relative dating activity relative ages.

Presentation on theme: "Relative Age...

Solving this puzzle requires understanding of the laws of stratigraphy such as superposition, original horizontality and angular unconformities.

Sedimentary rocks form in layers. These layers were once environments as the Earth's surface. For instance, a beach may form a layer of sandstone if the sand grains become cemented together and preserved as sedimentary rock.

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A swampy floodplain might become a layer of shale. Layers of sedimentary rock are found at the Earth's surface and deep underground as well.

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