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In addition, because sediment deposition is not continuous and much rock material has been removed by erosion, the fossil record from many localities has to be integrated before a complete picture of the evolution of life on Earth can be assembled.
The same margin of error applies for younger fossiliferous rocks, making absolute dating comparable in precision to that attained using fossils.When these regions are later exposed in uptilted portions of ancient continents, a history of terrestrial rock-forming events can be deduced.Episodes of global volcanic activity, rifting of continents, folding, and metamorphism are defined by absolute ages.For example, the presence of recycled bricks at an archaeological site indicates the sequence in which the structures were built.
Similarly, in geology, if distinctive granitic pebbles can be found in the sediment beside a similar granitic body, it can be inferred that the granite, after cooling, had been uplifted and eroded and therefore was not injected into the adjacent rock sequence.
To date past events, processes, formations, and fossil organisms, geologists employ a variety of techniques.