Stratigraphy

• Principles of Stratigraphy • Types of Stratigraphy • Contacts • Unconformities

Stratigraphy

“Stratigraphy can be defined as the complete triumph of terminology over facts and common sense.”
Attributed to P.D. Krynine by J. Ferm in Burton et al., 1987.

Stratigraphy

Stratigraphy: the study of the 3-D spatial and temporal relationships among rocks

Stratigraphy
• Principles of Stratigraphy • Types of Stratigraphy • Contacts • Unconformities

Principles of Stratigraphy

1. Superposition The oldest rocks are found on the bottom and the youngest rocks on the top.

youngest

oldest

Principles of Stratigraphy

youngest?

oldest?

Principles of Stratigraphy

younger older

Principles of Stratigraphy

2. Original Horizontality sediments are deposited at the earth’s surface in flat layers

Principles of Stratigraphy

Principles of Stratigraphy
cross-bedding

Principles of Stratigraphy
3. Lateral Continuity a bed will extend laterally until:

1. Pinches out. 1. Abuts against older rock. 1. Truncated by erosion. 1. Cut by fault.

Principles of Stratigraphy

Principles of Stratigraphy

4. Cross-Cutting Relationships

Rock that are cut by another geologic feature are older than the feature that cuts them.

Igneous Intrusion

Fault

Erosion

Principles of Stratigraphy

5. Rule of Inclusions If pieces of rock A are included in rock B, rock A formed before rock B.

B A

Principles of Stratigraphy
6. Faunal Succession Systematic sequence of fossils with time. Extinct fossils do not reappear in younger rocks.

http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/401/

Stratigraphy
• Principles of Stratigraphy • Types of Stratigraphy • Contacts • Unconformities

Types of Stratigraphy

Type
Lithostratigraphy Pedostratigraphy Biostratigraphy Chronostratigraphy Geochronostratigraphy Magnetostratigraphy Chemostratigraphy Sequence Stratigraphy

Subdivisions
Lithostratigraphic Unit Pedostratigraphic Unit Bio Zones Chronostratigraphic Units (Period, Epoch, Age) Geochronostratigraphic Unit (System, Series, Stage) Magnetic Reversals, Chrons Isotope Zones Allostratigraphic Units

Property
Lithology Buried Soils Fossil Content Time Relationships Time Relationships Magnetic Polarity Chemical Characteristics unconformity-bounded packages

Types of Stratigraphy - Allostratigraphy

Types of Stratigraphy

Type
Lithostratigraphy Pedostratigraphy Biostratigraphy Chronostratigraphy Geochronostratigraphy Magnetostratigraphy Chemostratigraphy Sequence Stratigraphy

Subdivisions
Lithostratigraphic Unit Pedostratigraphic Unit Bio Zones Chronostratigraphic Units (Period, Epoch, Age) Geochronostratigraphic Unit (System, Series, Stage) Magnetic Reversals, Chrons Isotope Zones Allostratigraphic Units

Property
Lithology Buried Soils Fossil Content Time Relationships Time Relationships Magnetic Polarity Chemical Characteristics unconformity-bounded packages

Types of Stratigraphy - Lithostratigraphy
Super Group Group *Formation Member / Tongue / Lentil Bed / Flow

*Formation: distinct, mappable rock body with definable boundaries

Types of Stratigraphy

Lithostratigraphic Units

lens / lentil

(E. McBride)

Stratigraphy
• Principles of Stratigraphy • Types of Stratigraphy • Contacts • Unconformities

Types of Contacts

• Intrusive • Fault • Depositional - Conformable Contact - Unconformity

Types of Contacts (Depositional)
Lateral Contacts

gradual

intercalated

gradation

s ca no Cl ac t r e V t t i

abrupt

intertonguing

pinchout

(Boggs, p. 453)

Types of Contacts (Depositional)

Lateral Contacts

(E. McBride)

Stratigraphy
• Principles of Stratigraphy • Types of Stratigraphy • Contacts • Unconformities

Unconformities

Unconformity: buried surface of erosion; missing rock / time

vs

Hiatus: amount of missing time

vs

Diastem: small amount of missing rock / time

Unconformities

Erosion – Mechanical, Chemical, Biological

Drop in Sea Level

Uplift of Land

Unconformities

Calvert Bluff / Alluvium Contact (Field Trip 1)

Unconformities

Types: • • • • Disconformity Paraconformity Nonconformity Angular Unconformity

Unconformities
• Disconformity – sediments on sediments (same orientation) with obvious erosion

Unconformities

Disconformity

Supai Group 20 million years Redwall Limestone Muav Limestone 150 million years

Unconformities
2. Paraconformity – sediments on sediments (same orientation) no obvious erosion surface

(Boggs, p. 456)

Unconformities

3. Angular unconformity – sediments on sediments (different orientations)

Unconformities
Angular Unconformity

250 million years

Unconformities
Angular Unconformity

Wyoming

Unconformities
Angular Unconformity

(E. McBride)

Unconformities
4. Nonconformity – sediments on crystalline igneous or metamorphic rocks Uplift, Erosion, Deposition

Erosional Surface

Unconformities

Nonconformity

550 million years 1800 million years

Unconformities

Canadian Shield

Enchanted Rock

Nonconformity in Progress

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