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Suppose you find a fossil at one place that cannot be dated using absolute methods.
That fossil species may have been dated somewhere else, so you can match them and say that your fossil has a similar age.
Students begin by observing a photograph and a diagram of rock layers near Whanganui, watch an animation about how the layers were formed, then use an interactive labelling diagram to work out the order in which the rocks were created.
The activity offers literacy opportunities as well as practice using the science capability 'Interpret representations'.
Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.An atom of potassium (K), for example, has 19 protons in its nucleus so the atomic number for potassium is 19.Although all atoms of a given element contain the same number of protons, they do not contain the same number of neutrons.Throughout the history of life, different organisms have appeared, flourished and become extinct.Many of these organisms have left their remains as fossils in sedimentary rocks.