Absolute Dating, Geologic History, Insolation Quiz

1)What stable isotope(s) does Potassium-40 decay into?

40Ar and 40Ca

2)What percentage of the parent isotope Carbon-14 would be left over in a sample after 11,400 years?


3)Which radioactive isotope would be best to figure out the absolute age of a piece of pottery from the Lenape Tribe who originally settled NY?

Carbon 14 or C14 or 14C

4)If you find a piece of limestone with the fossil Platyceras, which geologic period did the sedimentary rock likely form?


5)Which index fossil would you most likely be able to find Syracuse NY:

A)Eurypterus  B)Coelophysis C)Condor D)Maclurites

  1. Eurypterus

6)At one point scientists inferred that NY’s landmass was at Earth’s equator. How many millions of years ago was this true?

359 m.y. -- 232 m.y. (allow any answer in that range)

7)Which material will heat up faster when exposed to an open flame, Granite or Copper? Explain your answer using what you know about specific heat

Copper because it has a lower specific heat


Copper because it has a lower resistance to changes in temperature

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8)On the diagram above, write a Z at the Zenith. [10 points if there is a Z above observer]

9)What is the latitude of the observer (make sure you indicate N,S,E,or W)? ________ [42N, take off 5 pt if no N]

10)As the sun starts to set, how will happen to the observer’s shadow change? [it will get longer 012.and go to the NE]