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Principle of Horizontality

Sedimentary rocks are laid down horizontally and those that are no longer horizontal have been deformed.

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Geo-Careers: Stratigrapher

Geo-Careers: Stratigrapher

Credit: Grand Canyon NPS
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grand_canyon_nps/8537281481
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Stratigraphers study strata. These are the rock layers that hold the key to earth history. In the Grand Canyon, strata are like a book of the geologic history of Northern Arizona. Stratigraphy is important in other regions, but is usually not so well displayed.

Why It Matters

Credit: Original uploader was MeanStreets at en.wikipedia
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Geology_of_Cyprus-Chalk.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Strata of chalk layers in Cyprus [Figure2]

  • Sedimentology is the interpretation of how sedimentary rocks are deposited.
  • Many geologists are hired with a bachelors or masters degree. A doctorate is usually needed for a research science career.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about the field of stratigraphy. Then answer the following questions.

  • CareerCrate, Stratigrapher (video)- Note this video was made in Canada so may not apply to all English speaking countries. For example, salaries are given in Canadian dollars, which are currently worth about 5% less than the U.S. dollar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s01dSWrWnGs
  1. Why is it important for geologists to study all the strata of a region rather than just one sedimentary rock layer?
  2. Which industries hire stratigraphers? What information do they need from stratigraphers?
  3. What work does a stratigrapher do after he returns from the field?
  4. What sorts of scientific questions does a stratigrapher seek to answer?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Grand Canyon NPS; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grand_canyon_nps/8537281481; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Original uploader was MeanStreets at en.wikipedia; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Geology_of_Cyprus-Chalk.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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