If this rock is above a fossil, that fossil can be dated as “older” than the volcanic rock above it.
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Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
One of the most common is the potassium-argon dating method.
This is used to date volcanic rock to the time the volcano erupted.
Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years—, half the amount of the radioisotope present at any given time will undergo spontaneous disintegration during the succeeding 5,730 years.
Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon. “It has proved to be a versatile technique of dating fossils and archaeological specimens from 500 to 50,000 years old.” There are also other radiometric dating methods that are used to date strata and fossils.