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Virtual Dating
This is an interactive exercise about Geologic Time. It focuses on how geologists and archaeologists determine the ages of rocks and ancient artifacts. This is a beta release of an instructional activity still under development. Virtual Dating contains two modules as well as a demonstration version. One module is Virtual Dating Isochron for rocks and minerals and the other is Virtual Dating Radiocarbon (Carbon-14). The interactive modules involve the students in exploring data and background information and answering questions as they move through the activity. An answer checking and feedback function is employed. There is also a Virtual Dating Demo if you want to do a quick run-through of the activity without answer checking enabled.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geologic time
Technical requirements:
Netscape browser
Internet Explorer (IE) browser
Much of Virtual Dating consists of Java applets and various routines written in JavaScript. You must use a browser with Java and it must be Java enabled. Virtual Dating works best with Netscape Communicator 4 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 with JavaScript enabled. It has been tested on Netscape Communicator4.05 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 for both Windows 95/98/NT and MacOS 8.1 on the PowerPC. Minimum memory requirements are not known at this time. It has been successfully run on Windows 95 using Netscape Communicator with 16MB, and on MacOS with 32MB with the above listed browsers. If you are running Netscape on the Mac, you will have more success with Virtual Dating if you increase the Suggested Memory Size to 15000K or more. This doesn't mean that computers and settings with less memory will not work, but having sufficient memory seems to be critical.
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1998, 1999 Geology Labs On-line
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-000-048
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Gary A. Novak
Geology Labs On-Line

Contact: Dr David Mayo
Department of Geology
California State University