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Literally many tens of thousands of radiometric age measurements are documented in the scientific literature.Since beginning operation in the early 1960s, the Geochronology laboratories of the U. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, have C ages.

The first is to search for and date the oldest rocks exposed on the surface of the Earth.

All the major continents contain a core of very old rocks fringed by younger rocks.

These cores, called Precambrian shields, are all that remain of the Earth’s oldest crust.

This was done by observing the relative age sequence of rock units in a given area and determining, from stratigraphic relations, which rock units are younger, which are older, and what assemblages of fossils are contained in each unit.

Using fossils to correlate from area to area, geologists have been able to work out a relative worldwide order of rock formations and to divide the rock record and geologic time into the eras, periods, and epochs shown in Figure 1.

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Present evidence indicates, however, that these intervals were rather short (100-200 million years) in comparison with the length of time that has elapsed since the Solar System formed some 4 to 5 billion years ago.

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