With the exception of the radiocarbon method, most of these techniques are actually based on measuring an increase in the abundance of a radiogenic isotope, which is the decay-product of the radioactive parent isotope.
A series of related techniques for determining the age at which a geomorphic surface was created (exposure dating), or at which formerly surficial materials were buried (burial dating).
This technique can be applied if the daughter element has at least one stable isotope other than the daughter isotope into which the parent nuclide decays.
Geochronology is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils, and sediments using signatures inherent in the rocks themselves.
Absolute geochronology can be accomplished through radioactive isotopes, whereas relative geochronology is provided by tools such as palaeomagnetism and stable isotope ratios.
The polarity timescale has been previously determined by dating of seafloor magnetic anomalies, radiometrically dating volcanic rocks within magnetostratigraphic sections, and astronomically dating magnetostratigraphic sections.
Global trends in isotope compositions, particularly Carbon 13 and strontium isotopes, can be used to correlate strata.
Burial dating uses the differential radioactive decay of 2 cosmogenic elements as a proxy for the age at which a sediment was screened by burial from further cosmic rays exposure.