A geologist uses radiometric dating to identify

You may have already completed introductory laboratory studies of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.

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It is true, and needs to be kept in mind to understand the earth geologiclly, that many geologic processes are slow, accumulating into larger effects over the course of geologic time.

For example, we now know that continents move across the face of the earth a few centimeters a year as part of tectonic plates.

The units commonly used for geologic age are mega-annum (Ma) for millions of years, giga-annum (Ga) for billions of years, and kiloannum (ka) ka for thousands of years.

Because these units are used according to the rules of the metric system, the M in Ma and the G in Ga must be capitalized, and the k in ka must not be capitalized.

The idea of uniformitarianism is that the laws and principles that nature follows in today's world, such as gravity, also applied in the geologic past; in other words, "the present is the key to the past." The idea of uniformitarianisms is commonly misinterpreted in two different ways.