Superposition dating

The lower sandstone layer is disrupted by two faults, so we can infer that the faults are younger than that layer.

But the faults do not appear to continue into the coal seam, and they certainly do not continue into the upper sandstone.

New layers are formed later more recently than the older ones, so they sit on top.

Stratigraphy, or layers of soil, at an archaeological site in the Islands of Orkney, Scotland.

Exercise 8.1 Cross-Cutting Relationships The outcrop shown here (at Horseshoe Bay, B. Buff/pink felsic intrusive igneous rock present as somewhat irregular masses trending from lower right to upper left 2. A 50 cm wide light-grey felsic intrusive igneous dyke extending from the lower left to the middle right – offset in several places Using the principle of cross-cutting relationships outlined above, determine the relative ages of these three rock types.

The boundary between the two represents a time gap of nearly 300 million years.

[SE]Figure 8.2.4 The four types of unconformities: (a) a nonconformity between non-sedimentary rock and sedimentary rock, (b) an angular unconformity, (c) a disconformity between layers of sedimentary rock, where the older rock has been eroded but not tilted, and (d) a paraconformity where there is a long period (millions of years) of non-deposition between two parallel layers.

[SE] The principle of cross-cutting relationships states that any geological feature that cuts across, or disrupts another feature must be younger than the feature that is disrupted.

An example of this is given in Figure 8.2.2, which shows three different sedimentary layers.

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