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Relative time places events or formations in order based on their position within the rock record relative to one another using six principles of relative dating.Relative time can not determine the actual year a material was deposited or how long deposition lasted; it simply tell us which events came first.It may start to grow during early diagenesis, typically forming syntaxial outgrowths on detrital zircon grains.

By combining knowledge gained using both relative and absolute dating processes geologists have been able to produce the geologic time scale.It is currently possible to date igneous and metamorphic rocks by a variety of radiometric methods to within a million years, but establishing the depositional age of sedimentary rocks has remained exceedingly difficult.The problem is most pronounced for Precambrian rocks, where the low diversity and abundance of organisms have prevented the establishment of any meaningful biostratigraphic framework for correlating strata.In addition, it has an exceptional ability to remain closed to element mobility during later thermal events, and commonly yields concordant and precise dates.QUESTION: Can we date sedimentary rocks using radiometric dating techniques?

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Radioactive elements are unstable; they breakdown spontaneously into more stable atoms over time, a process known as radioactive decay.

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