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Unconformity

An unconformity is a plane where a two depositional sequences are stacked upon each other under an angle. An unconformity can be traced over a long distance. On a scale of some meters there are sedimentary structures.

An unconformity represents a period in which there was no net deposition. In most cases there even was erosion. New layers which were later deposited on the unconformity surface are generally horizontal. Because of differential erosion the layers on top of the erosion surface run dead on to the erosion surface. In stratigraphy an unconformity represents a hiatus in time.

Causes of a stop in sedimentation and thus formation of an unconformity range from small differences in sediment supply to large tectonic movements.


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