When it comes to determining the age of stuff scientists dig out of the ground, whether fossil or artifact, “there are good dates and bad dates and ugly dates,” says paleoanthropologist John Shea of Stony Brook University.
The obtained paleomagnetic direction from thermal demagnetization produced a paleopole at 61.3°N, 155.9°E, with the semi-major axis and semi-minor axis of the 95% confidence ellipse being 16.6° and 15.9° respectively.
This paleopole is compared to the Siberian apparent polar wander path (APWP) by translating the paleopole to the nearest location on the APWP.
A geologic map or report typically is only a summary of investigations that frequently involve the collecting and processing of hundreds of rock samples, followed by the evaluation and interpretation of data from a variety of analytical techniques.
A relative age is the age of a fossil organism, rock, or geologic feature or event defined relative to other organisms, rocks, or features or events rather than in terms of years.
Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. “They’re based on ‘it’s that old because I say so,’ a popular approach by some of my older colleagues,” says Shea, laughing, “though I find I like it myself as I get more gray hair.” Kidding aside, dating a find is crucial for understanding its significance and relation to other fossils or artifacts.
Methods fall into one of two categories: relative or absolute.
Biostratigraphy: One of the first and most basic scientific dating methods is also one of the easiest to understand.
Layers of rock build one atop another — find a fossil or artifact in one layer, and you can reasonably assume it’s older than anything above it.
Geochronology is the science of dating and determining the time sequence of events in the history of the Earth.