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Many sections of the Wasatch fault disturb or crosscut the Provo shoreline, showing that faulting occurred after the lake dropped below this shoreline which formed about 13,500 years ago.

As this example illustrates determining the age of a geologic feature or rock requires the use of both absolute and relative dating techniques.

If a geologist claims to be 45 years old, that is an absolute age.

Superposition: The most basic concept used in relative dating is the law of superposition.

Faunal Succession: Similar to the law of superposition is the law of faunal succession, which states that groups of fossil animals and plants occur throughout the geologic record in a distinct and identifiable order.

Following this law, sedimentary rocks can be “dated” by their characteristic fossil content.

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This law follows two basic assumptions: (1) the beds were originally deposited near horizontal, and (2) the beds were not overturned after their deposition.Relative dating techniques provide geologists abundant evidence of the incredible vastness of geologic time and ancient age of many rocks and formations.However, in order to place absolute dates on the relative time scale, other dating methods must be considered.Development of the geologic time scale and dating of formations and rocks relies upon two fundamentally different ways of telling time: relative and absolute.Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.

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