Two types of relative dating

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The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah is a great example of Original Horizontality and the Law of Superposition, two important ideas used in relative dating.These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

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These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.Each isotope is identified with what is called a ‘mass number’.

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