Physics and Chemistry
Grand View College
Calibrating the Geological Time Scale part of Chronos Workshop:Activities
This activity is part of a collection under development by participants in a June 2006 workshop. Tested versions will be available in Spring 2007. Calibration of the geological time scale requires numerical age determinations of distinct events in Earth history defined by the rock record. However, relatively few geologic boundaries are dated directly. Thus boundary ages must be extrapolated from other sections with datable material. This exercise demonstrates the methods of time scale calibration and explores the scientific uses of an accurate and detailed geological time scale. Students will construct geologic time scale calibration curves and use them to assign absolute dates to the geological boundaries observed in the rock record. They will use this time scale to discuss the temporal framework of geological processes and events occuring during that interval.