This uses radioactive minerals that occur in rocks and fossils almost like a geological clock.It’s often much easier to date volcanic rocks than the fossils themselves or the sedimentary rocks they are found in.Studying the layers of rock or strata can also be useful. If a layer of rock containing the fossil is higher up in the sequence that another layer, you know that layer must be younger in age. This can often be complicated by the fact that geological forces can cause faulting and tilting of rocks.Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a rock or fossil through radiometric dating methods.The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.
While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.
Carbon-14, the radioactive isotope of carbon used in carbon dating has a half-life of 5730 years, so it decays too fast.
It can only be used to date fossils younger than about 75,000 years.
ANSWER: Absolute dating is used by geologists to determine the actual age of a material.
It can be achieved through the use of historical records and through the analysis of biological and geological patterns.
The same rock formation also contains a type of trilobite that was known to live 415 to 425 million years ago.