The procedures used to isolate and analyze the parent and daughter nuclides must be precise and accurate. Episodes of global volcanic activityrifting of continents, folding, and metamorphism are defined by absolute ages. Dating depends on scientific methods. While absolute ages require expensive, complex analytical equipment, relative ages can be deduced from simple visual observations. This section examines these criteria and explores the ways in which the reliability of the ages measured can be assessed.
Generally a shorter half-life leads to a higher time resolution at the expense of timescale.
A series of related techniques for determining the age at which a geomorphic surface was created exposure datingor at which formerly surficial materials were buried burial dating. In addition, because sediment deposition is not continuous and much rock material has been removed by erosionthe fossil record from many localities has to be integrated before a complete picture of the evolution of life on Earth can be assembled. Radiocarbon dating is effective to 35, years…. To be able to distinguish the relative ages of rocks from such old material, and to get a better time resolution than that available from long-lived isotopes, short-lived isotopes that are no longer present in the rock can be used. In this analogythe apples would represent radioactive, or parent, atoms, while the oranges would represent the atoms formed, the so-called daughters.