Terminology for stratification and cross-stratification in sedimentary rocks

GSA Bulletin
By:  and 



A terminology is suggested to aid the field geologist in describing the structures of stratified and cross-stratified rock units. Qualitative terms describing the character of rock layering are stratification, stratum, cross-stratification, cross-stratum, set, coset, and composite set. Quantitative terms applying to the thickness of stratification are very thick-bedded, thick-bedded, thin-bedded, very thin-bedded, laminated, and thinly laminated. Quantitative terms applying to the thickness of units into which the rock splits are massive, blocky, slabby, flaggy, shaly, platy, and papery.

A classification of cross-stratification is suggested, based primarily on whether the lower bounding surface of a set of cross-strata is one of erosion or nondeposition and, if erosional, whether it is plane or curved. Features of secondary importance in this classification are the shape of set of cross-strata, the attitude of the axis, the symmetry of the cross-strata with respect to the axis, the arching of the cross-strata, the dip of the cross-strata, and the length of individual cross-strata.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Terminology for stratification and cross-stratification in sedimentary rocks
Series title GSA Bulletin
DOI 10.1130/0016-7606(1953)64[381:TFSACI]2.0.CO;2
Volume 64
Issue 4
Year Published 1953
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Description 10 p.
First page 381
Last page 390
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