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Your goal is to study the smooth, parallel layers of rock to learn how the land built up over geologic time.

Now imagine that you come upon a formation like this: What do you think of it? How can you make any conclusions about rock layers that make such a crazy arrangement?

We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!

Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.

This idea is known as Plutonism, in reference to the God of the deep underworld.

Prior to the discovery of radiometric dating in the early 20th century, which provided a means of absolute dating, archaeologists and geologists used relative dating to determine ages of materials.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.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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With this in mind geologist have long known that the deeper a sedimentary rock layer is the older it is, but how old?

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