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Geologists establish the age of rocks in two ways: numerical dating and relative dating.

Numerical dating determines the actual ages of rocks through the study of radioactive decay.

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Geologists use this type of method all the time to establish relative ages of rocks.

Now, what if instead of being horizontal, this rock layer was found in a tilted position?

Let's say we find out, through numerical dating, that the rock layer shown above is 70 million years old.

Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.How do we use the Law of Superposition to establish relative dates?Let's look at these rock strata here: We have five layers total.These items are called inclusions - foreign bodies of rock or mineral enclosed within another rock.Because the sedimentary rock had to have formed around the object for it to be encased within the layers, geologists can establish relative dates between the inclusions and the surrounding rock.If it had happened before the layers had formed, then we wouldn't see it punching through all the layers; we would only see it going through the layers that had existed at the time that it happened. The Principle of Cross-Cutting Relationships states that rock formations that cut across other rocks must be younger than the rocks that they cut across.