Dating the Past
Measuring the age of rocks and fossils
Learn how geologists find out the ages of rocks and fossils to help explain how New Zealand’s structure – and the life it supports – has changed over millions of years.
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Relative dating places events in sequence, without providing numerical dates. The matching of fossils, called correlation, plays an important part in dating rocks.
Paleontologists like Dr James Crampton from GNS Science have been determining dates for fossils found in north-west Hawke’s Bay using correlation, including matching microscopic fossils with those...
Cores from a peat bog contain evidence of climate change during the last two ice ages. Dr Marcus Vandergoes of GNS Science has dated events recorded in the cores using radiocarbon and optically...
The rock cycle is a network of processes that make and change rocks. The three main rock types (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) can be changed into any of the others.