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You have to date the volcanic layer above and below the fossil layer.The age of the fossil will be an age range between the ages of the two volcanic layers. The diagram below shows a portion of the Geologic Time Scale. This predictability allows the relative abundances of related nuclides to be used as a clock to measure the time from the incorporation of the original nuclides into a material to the present.
It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration.
Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.
The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.
All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.
Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.