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Correlation can involve matching an undated rock with a dated one at another location.Suppose you find a fossil at one place that cannot be dated using absolute methods.For a fossil to be a good index fossil, it needs to have lived during one specific time period, be easy to identify and have been abundant and found in many places. If you find ammonites in a rock in the South Island and also in a rock in the North Island, you can say that both rocks are Mesozoic.Different species of ammonites lived at different times within the Mesozoic, so identifying a fossil species can help narrow down when a rock was formed.Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology and is, in some respects, more accurate.The Law of Superposition, which states that older layers will be deeper in a site than more recent layers, was the summary outcome of 'relative datin g' as observed in geology from the 17th century to the early 20th century.Prior to the discovery of radiometric dating in the early 20th century, which provided a means of absolute dating, archaeologists and geologists used relative dating to determine ages of materials.

Sixteen years after his discovery, he published a geological map of England showing the rocks of different geologic time eras.

As he continued his job as a surveyor, he found the same patterns across England.

He also found that certain animals were in only certain layers and that they were in the same layers all across England.

The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy (layers of rock are called strata).

Relative dating does not provide actual numerical dates for the rocks.

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