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Some of the most useful fossils for dating purposes are very small ones.

For example, microscopic dinoflagellates have been studied and dated in great detail around the world.

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.

Geologists have studied the order in which fossils appeared and disappeared through time and rocks. Fossils can help to match rocks of the same age, even when you find those rocks a long way apart.

This matching process is called correlation, which has been an important process in constructing geological timescales.

Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.No bones about it, fossils are important age markers.But the most accurate forms of absolute age dating are radiometric methods. Sedimentary rocks in particular are notoriously radioactive-free zones.Say for example that a volcanic dike, or a fault, cuts across several sedimentary layers, or maybe through another volcanic rock type.Pretty obvious that the dike came after the rocks it cuts through, right?

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