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Barnett - Fossils

Barnett - Fossils and Stratigraphy

QuestionAnswer
fossil evidence or remains of once-living plants or animals
unaltered hard part a bone or shell that has not undergone change since the organism's death
altered hard part organic material is replaced with minerals
petrified turned to stone
mold impression left by an organism - a leaf or shell for example
cast mold is filled with minerals
index fossil used to correlate rock layers; easily recognized, abundant, and widespread geographically
trace fossil indirect evidence of life, like a footprint
stratigraphy the study of rock layers and the fossils they contain
uniformitarianism forces and processes that we observe today have been at work for a very long time
original horizontality sediments are laid down in horizontal layers
superposition in undisturbed bedrock, the oldest rocks are at the bottom and the youngest rocks are on the top
cross-cutting relationship intrusion, folding, or fault is younger than the rock it cuts across
unconformity buried surface of erosion
relative age puts the age of materials in order; puts events in a sequence
absolute age gives the actual age of a material
isotope atom that has a different number of neutrons in its nucleus than normal
half life the amount of time it takes for half the parent material to decay to daughter material
parent material the original, unstable isotope
daughter material the stable isotope that results from radioactive decay
radioactive decay spontaneous breakdown of nuclei of unstable isotopes
radiometric dating using the process of radioactive decay to find the absolute date of a material
radiocarbon dating finding the absolute age of a once-living organism using the carbon 14 decay process
dendrochronology tree ring dating
Created by: ebarnett