Find a
Resource
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Varves: Dating Sedimentary Strata
This lesson discusses the clear evidence of geological events over many millions of years. Students count the number of varves (annual layers of sediment) in shale billets, taken from the Green River Formation in Wyoming. The count is then extended to reflect the entire 260 meters of sediments where the billets originated, a period of approximately 2 million years. This provides a tangible experience for a sense of time, from both a human perspective (vast period) and a geological perspective (very short period).
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geologic time
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 1999 ENSI (Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes). This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-004-785
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes


Author: John Banister-Marx

Contributor: Larry Flammer
Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes