Absolute And Relative Age Dating: Question Preview (ID: 122)

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Which of these is the best indication of the relative age of a rock layer?
a) The thickness of the layer
b) The distance of the layer extends over the Earth
c) The position of the layer compared to other layers
d) The chemical make-up of the layer

Why is the "Law of Superposition" critical to the study of fossil life forms?
a) It allows us to time-sequence fossils
b) It states that heavier rocks are on the bottom and light rocks rise to the top.
c) It specifies that each layer of rock is a different type of mineral.
d) It tells us that organisms are usually replaced by more highly-adapted ones.

Rock layers tell a story about their past. What is the basic assumption that is made when reading the story?
a) The composition of the Earth\'s atmosphere has been constant
b) Chemical reactions in the past were slower than they are today
c) The processes in the rock cycle were the same in the past as they are today
d) The Earth\'s crust cooled and them remelted before the rock layers began to form

In an undisturbed rock profile, the oldest rocks are found
a) on the bottom
b) on the top
c) in the middle
d) anywhere

A fossil shell contain 25% of the original amount of its carbon-14. Approximately how many years ago was this shell part of a living organism?
a) 5,700 years ago
b) 11,400 years ago
c) 17,100 years ago
d) 22,800 years ago

Which statement can best be supported by the fossil record?
a) Humans have lived on Earth throughout geological history.
b) The organisms on Earth have not changed.
c) Most life-forms that existed on Earth have become extinct.
d) Dinosaurs existed on Earth for more than 544 million years.

The absolute age of a rock is the approximate number of years ago that the rock formed. The absolute age of an igneous rock can best be determined by
a) comparing the amounts of decayed and undecayed radioactive isotopes in the rock
b) comparing the sizes of the crystals found in the upper and lower parts of the rock
c) examining the rock's relative position in a rock outcrop
d) examining the environment in which the rock is found

Which radioactive substance has the longest half-life?
a) Carbon-14
b) Uranium-238
c) Potassium-40
d) Rubidium-87

Which radioactive isotope would be used to determine the age of a wooly mammoth found in Pleistocene sediments?
a) Carbon-14
b) Uranium-238
c) Potassium -40
d) Rubidium-87

One similarity between Carbon-14 and Uranium 238 is that both
a) have the same half-life
b) are normally found in large quantities in living matter
c) decay at a predictable rate
d) are found in granite

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