Stratigraphy is a branch of geology to description of rock or interpretation geologic time scale.It provides of geologic history of strata. Stratigraphic studies primarily used in the study of sedimentary and volcanic layered rocks.

Two type related subfields

Lithologic Stratigraphy Or Lithostratigraphy

Biologic Stratigraphy Or Biostratigraphy

A not unusual purpose of stratigraphic studies is the subdivision of a series of rock strata into mappable gadgets, figuring out the time relationships that are involved, and correlating devices of the sequence—or the complete sequence—with rock strata elsewhere. Following the failed attempts over the last half of the 19th century of the International Geological Congress (IGC; based 1878) to standardize a stratigraphic scale, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS; based 1961) mounted a Commission on Stratigraphy to paintings closer to that cease. Traditional stratigraphic schemes depend upon  scales: (1) a time scale (using eons, eras, durations, epochs, a while, and chrons), for which every unit is described by means of its beginning and finishing factors, and (2) a correlated scale of rock sequences (using structures, series, tiers, and chronozones). These schemes, whilst used in conjunction with different relationship strategies—along with radiometric courting (the measurement of radioactive decay), paleoclimatic dating, and paleomagnetic determinations—that, in general, had been advanced within the closing 1/2 of the 20th century, have caused particularly less confusion of nomenclature and to ever more dependable data on which to base conclusions about Earth history.

Because oil and natural gasoline nearly always arise in stratified sedimentary rocks, the process of locating petroleum reservoir traps has been facilitated notably with the aid of using stratigraphic standards and information.

An crucial principle in the software of stratigraphy to archaeology is the law of superposition—the principle that in any undisturbed deposit the oldest layers are normally placed at the bottom degree. Accordingly, it is presumed that the remains of every succeeding era are left at the debris of the last.


Lithostratigraphy is associated with the study of strata (layer).In general a stratum is sedimentary or igneous rock related to formed of rock

 Types of lithostratigraphic units

A lithostratigraphic unit conforms to the regulation of superposition, which state that during any succession of strata, not disturbed or overturned for the reason that deposition, younger rocks lies above older rocks. The precept of lateral continuity states that a fixed of mattress extends and can be traceable over a huge region.

Lithostratigraphic devices are identified and defined on the idea of observable rock characteristics. The descriptions of strata based totally on bodily look define facies. Lithostratigraphic devices are most effective described by way of lithic traits, and no longer by using age.

Stratotype: A designated sort of unit inclusive of handy rocks that include straight forward characteristics which might be consultant of a selected lithostratigraphic unit.

Lithosome: Masses of rock of essentially uniform man or woman and having interchanging relationships with adjoining hundreds of different lithology. E.G.: shale lithosome, limestone lithosome.

The essential Lithostratigraphic unit is the formation. A formation is a lithologically extraordinary stratigraphic unit this is massive enough to be mappable and traceable. Formations may be subdivided into individuals and beds and aggregated with different formations into organizations and supergroups.

Stratigraphic relationship

Two types of contact: conformable and unconformable.

Conformable: unbroken deposition, no break or hiatus (break or interruption in the continuity of the geological record). The surface strata resulting is called a conformity.

Two types of contact between conformable strata: abrupt contacts (directly separate beds of distinctly different lithology, minor depositional break, called diastems) and gradational contact (gradual change in deposition, mixing zone).

Unconformable: period of erosion/non-deposition. The surface stratum resulting is called an unconformity.

Four types of unconformity:

Angular unconformity: younger sediment lies upon an eroded surface of tilted or folded older rocks. The older rock dips at a different angle from the younger.

Disconformity: the contact between younger and older beds is marked by visible, irregular erosional surfaces. Paleosol might develop right above the disconformity surface because of the non-deposition setting.

Paraconformity: the bedding planes below and above the unconformity are parallel. A time gap is present, as shown by a faunal break, but there is no erosion, just a period of non-deposition.

Nonconformity: relatively young sediments are deposited right above older igneous or metamorphic rocks.


Biostratigraphy is the department of stratigraphy which makes a speciality of correlating and assigning relative a while of rock strata by the use of the fossil assemblages contained inside them. Usually the purpose is correlation, demonstrating that a particular horizon in a single geological section represents the identical time period as another horizon at some other phase. The fossils are useful because sediments of the equal age can appearance absolutely special due to local versions in the sedimentary environment. For instance, one segment could have been made up of clays and marls while any other has greater chalky limestones, however if the fossil species recorded are similar, the two sediments are likely to were laid down at the same time.

Stratigraphic Subdivision

Concept of stage

A stage is a major subdivision of strata, each systematically following the other each bearing a unique assemblage of fossils. Therefore, stages can be defined as a group of strata containing the same major fossil assemblages. French palaeontologist Alcide d’Orbigny is credited for the invention of this concept. He named stages after geographic localities with particularly good sections of rock strata that bear the characteristic fossils on which the stages are based.

Concept of zone

The zone is the fundamental biostratigraphic unit. Its thickness range from a few to hundreds of metres, and its extant range from local to worldwide. Biostratigraphic units are divided into six principal kinds of biozones:

  • Taxon range biozone represent the known stratigraphic and geographic range of occurrence of a single taxon.
  • Concurrent range biozone include the concurrent, coincident, or overlapping part of the range of two specified taxa.
  • Interval biozone include the strata between two specific biostratigraphic surfaces. It can be based on lowest or highest occurrences.
  • Lineage biozone are strata containing species representing a specific segment of an evolutionary lineage.
  • Assemblage biozones are strata that contain a unique association of three or more taxa.
  • Abundance biozone are strata in which the abundance of a particular taxon or group of taxa is significantly greater than in the adjacent part of the section.

Index fossils

To be useful in stratigraphic correlation index fossils should be:

  • Independent of their environment
  • Geographically widespread (provincialism/isolation of species should be avoided as much as possible)
  • Rapidly evolving
  • Abundant (easy to find in the rock record)
  • Easy to preserve (Easier in low-energy, non-oxidized environment)
  • Easy to identify