Cross cutting relationships relative dating

Cross-cutting relationships

A cross cutting relationship tells us that in order for say rock 2 to cut across another rock 1, rock 1 had to be there originally for the rock 2 to cut through it. Its a logic thing.

The Grand Canyon and Relative Dating

Cross cutting relationships in rock give us some relative idea of which rock came first, second and so on. See pic for a simple example.

Cross-cutting relationships | Revolvy

Rock 1 came first, then rock 2, then rock 3, then the orange volcanic dyke rock 4 cut across rocks 1 to 3 and then rock 5 was deported on top of them all. Here is another picture I took of three rocks showing cross cutting relationships. So, the speckled rock came first oldest , the light brown rock next, and the pink rock last youngest.

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What is the principle of cross-cutting relations and why is it important for relative dating? Related questions What is the principle of Uniformitarianism and how is it important to the relative dating of rocks?

What is the principle of cross-cutting relations and why is it important for relative dating?

What is the age of inclusions found in a rock relative to the rock in which they are found? Because the fault that strikes through layers of rock must be younger than the rocks it strikes through. So, let's imagine for a second that you have a 3-layered cake.

Your 3 layers will consist of a chocolate cake, a vanilla cake, and a cheesecake, because you're crazy and your cake doesn't have to conform to standards. But mostly because cheesecake is great. On your plate, you put the chocolate cake on bottom, or the first layer. Then you put your vanilla cake in the middle.

And finally, your cheesecake goes on top. So, by definition, the oldest layer of cake would be chocolate, as it was put there first.

Then vanilla and cheesecake are the second and third oldest, respectively. Now, because we've already established that this cake is pure insanity, you're going to cut out a big hole in the middle that pierces all 3 layers and stick in some new feature. Now all of a sudden the big tower of cookies running through the middle of your cake is the youngest feature, as the other three layers had to be present originally in order for it to be there.

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Now that I've gotten you all hungry for cake and cookies let's talk about rocks instead. This exact same concept can be applied to layers of rock underneath the surface. We know that we can relatively date layers of rock by knowing that the layers on bottom are older than the layers on top.