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As he continued his job as a surveyor, he found the same patterns across England.
He also found that certain animals were in only certain layers and that they were in the same layers all across England.
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The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah is a great example of Original Horizontality and the Law of Superposition, two important ideas used in relative dating.
Photo from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.
Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e., the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. In geology, rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another.
Methods for relative dating were developed when geology first emerged as a natural science in the 18th century.
Geologists still use the following principles today as a means to provide information about geologic history and the timing of geologic events.