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Chapter 11

Vocabulary

AB
fossilremains or traces of a once-living organism preserved in rock
petrified remainsfossils that form when original materials that made up the organisms are replaced with minerals
carbonaceous filmfossil formed when the remains of a once-living organism are subjected to heat and pressure, leaving only a thin film of carbon behind
moldfossil formed when an organism is buried, decays, and leaves behind a hollow place in the rock
castfossil formed when sediments fill a mold and harden into rock
index fossilfossils of species that existed on Earth for only a short time, were abundant, and were widespread geographically
principle of superpositionstates that for undisturbed layers of rocks, older rocks lie underneath younger and younger rocks
relative datingmethod to determine the order of events and relative age of the rocks by examining the position of rocks in a sequence
unconformitygaps in the rock layers due to erosion, nondeposition, or both
absolute datingprocess that uses the properties of atoms in rocks and other ob jects to determine their exact ages, in years
radioactive decayrelease of nuclear particles and energy from unstable atomic nuclei
half-lifetime needed for one-half the mass of a sample of a radioactive isotope to decay
radiometric datingprocess to determine the absolute ages of rocks by measuring the amounts of parent and daughter materials in a rock and by knowing the half life of the parent
uniformitarianismstates that Earth processes happening today are similar to those that happened in the past

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