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Geology is historical. The rocks at any one place are rarely if ever the same age. Interpreting Earth's history is a two-step process: first, interpreting each individual rock, and second, interpreting the sequence of deformational events through which the rocks have formed. Doing this requires that the students apply all the skills and knowledge they have learned about rocks and geologic process by integrating them with new skills. A student's initial challenge in interpreting cross-sections and determining the relative ages of rocks is to visualize the existing rock sequence into distinctive units that can be associated with geologic process and specific events. Thus, this exercise focus on guiding the students to observe important, basic concepts used in relative dating on a one-dimensional setting by using images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) onboard the Mars Odyssey mission.
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