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Relative dating methods allow one to determine if an object is earlier than, later than, or contemporary with some other object.It does not, however, allow one to independently assign an accurate estimation of the age of an object as expressed in years.The most common relative dating method is stratigraphy.Other methods include fluorine dating, nitrogen dating, association with bones of extinct fauna, association with certain pollen profiles, association with geological features such as beaches, terraces and river meanders, and the establishment of cultural seriations.SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amino-acid dating; aminostratigraphy; amino-acid racemization, amino acid racemization CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of absolute (chronometric) dating which is hoped to fill the gap between radiocarbon dates and potassium-argon dates.

Among the elements, fluorine ranks 24th in universal abundance and 13th in terrestrial abundance. Specific changes in its amino acid structure (racemization or epimerization) which occur at a slow, relatively uniform rate, are measured after the organism's death.The basis for the technique is the fact that almost all amino acids change from optically active to optically passive compounds (racemize) over a period of time.For instance, if we find a fossil bone below the strata 3 rock level shown above, we assume that the animal most likely lived at a time before that layer was formed.However, we must be careful to note whether or not the fossil comes from the mixed strata zone of the filled in hole..

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