Welcome to the K12 section of the Radiocarbon WEBinfo site.
The aim here is to provide clear, understandable information relating to radiocarbon dating for the benefit of K12 students, as well as lay people who are not requiring detailed information about the method of radiocarbon dating itself.
Geochronology is the science of dating and determining the time sequence of events in the history of the Earth.
This web page provides an overview of selected geochronology methods used by USGS scientists.
I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods.
Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.Tradition paleontological and biostratigraphic correlation methods are still perhaps the most common relative dating methods used by geologists.More modern correlation technologies include use of marine stable isotope records, paleomagnetic dating, tephrachronology, geomorphological methods, sedimentation characteristics, and other geochemical and radiometric methods.On the other hand, absolute dating includes all methods that provide figures about the real estimated age of archaeological objects or occupations.These methods usually analyze physicochemical transformation phenomena whose rate are known or can be estimated relatively well.Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.