Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find. They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in numbers of years. This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time order.

## What is the difference between relative dating and numerical or absolute dating?

What is the difference between relative and absolute age? Relative age is the age of a rock layer (or the fossils it contains) compared to other layers. It can be determined by looking at the position of rock layers. Absolute age is the numeric age of a layer of rocks or fossils.

## What is the difference between relative dating and radioactive dating?

In brief, relative dating is the method of determining the relative age of a fossil. In contrast, radioactive dating is the method of determining the absolute age of a fossil.

## What are relative dating methods?

Relative dating methods estimate whether an object is younger or older than other things found at the site. Relative dating does not offer specific dates, it simply allows to determine if one artifact, fossil, or stratigraphic layer is older than another.