Absolute dating methods determine how much time has passed since rocks formed by measuring the radioactive decay of isotopes or the effects of radiation on the crystal structure of minerals. Paleomagnetism measures the ancient orientation of the Earths magnetic field to help determine the age of rocks.
What does rock dating mean?
ra′diomet′ric dat′ing. n. any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.
What is the importance of knowing the relative and absolute dating?
Relative dating does not offer specific dates, it simply allows to determine if one artifact, fossil, or stratigraphic layer is older than another. Absolute dating methods provide more specific origin dates and time ranges, such as an age range in years.