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Stratigraphy is the science of geology that examines the sequence of layers of rock. By examining the stratigraphy of an area, the sequence of the layers can be determined and an environment reconstruction can be made on the basis of the type of rocks, sedimentary structures and possible traces and fossils.
In stratigraphy relative dating is widely used. Without disruption of the layers, the layer on top is younger than the one below. It is assumed that the layers extend more or less horizontally across a given area. By means of correlation of layers from multiple outcrops can be linked to each other, and thus it is possible to get an overview of the stratigraphy of a larger area. The characteristics of the layers, but also for example, the occurrence of index fossils (biostratigraphy) are important to link layers from different outcrops.
Using Geochronology a geological time scale can be made on the basis of absolute dating. With radiometric dating, it is possible to determine the absolute age of certain rocks relatively accurate.
The stratigraphy several lithostratigraphic units are used, like bed, member, and formation.
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