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Relative Dating. In the same way that a history book shows an order of events, layers of rock (called strata) show the sequence of events that took place in the past. Using a few basic principles, scientists can determine the order in which rock layers formed. Once they can know the order, a relative age can be determined for each rock layer.*Relative age indicates that one layer is older or younger than another layer, but does not indicate the rock\'s age in years (absolute age)..

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