Relative time places events or formations in order based on their position within the rock record relative to one another using six principles of relative dating.
Relative time can not determine the actual year a material was deposited or how long deposition lasted; it simply tell us which events came first.
Between the years of 17, James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of relative dating.
Hutton, a Scottish geologist, first proposed formally the fundamental principle used to classify rocks according to their relative ages.
This aspect of Werner's model was useful for explaining the origin of tilted sedimentary rocks.
(dark brown) Flat lying sedimentary rocks were eventually precipitated.
The most obvious feature of sedimentary rock is its layering.
This feature is produced by changes in deposition over time.
The Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726-1797) argued that granite and basalt by solidification within the earth (as opposed to precipitating in from oceanwater).The concept is considered by uniformitarian geologists to be a major breakthrough in scientific reasoning by establishing a rational basis for relative time measurements.However, unlike tree-ring dating -- in which each ring is a measure of 1 year's growth -- no precise rate of deposition can be determined for most of the rock layers.This idea is known as Plutonism, in reference to the God of the deep underworld.Hutton viewed tilted strata as having been initially deposited horizontally, and then were subsequently deformed (tilted and folded) by the forces of Earth's internal heat engine.