Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.
These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
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.
These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occurred, it remains a useful technique.