Exercise 8.1 Cross-Cutting Relationships The outcrop shown here (at Horseshoe Bay, B. Buff/pink felsic intrusive igneous rock present as somewhat irregular masses trending from lower right to upper left 2. A 50 cm wide light-grey felsic intrusive igneous dyke extending from the lower left to the middle right – offset in several places Using the principle of cross-cutting relationships outlined above, determine the relative ages of these three rock types.(The near-vertical stripes are blasting drill holes.
There are a few simple rules for doing this, some of which we’ve already looked at in Chapter 6.
For example, the principle of superposition states that sedimentary layers are deposited in sequence, and, unless the entire sequence has been turned over by tectonic processes or disrupted by faulting, the layers at the bottom are older than those at the top.
Figure 8.8 The great angular unconformity in the Grand Canyon, Arizona.
The tilted rocks at the bottom are part of the Proterozoic Grand Canyon Group (aged 825 to 1,250 Ma).
(Hammerhead for scale) [SE]Figure 8.6b Rip-up clasts of shale embedded in Gabriola Formation sandstone, Gabriola Island, B. The pieces of shale were eroded as the sandstone was deposited, so the shale is older than the sandstone.
[SE] The principle of cross-cutting relationships states that any geological feature that cuts across, or disrupts another feature must be younger than the feature that is disrupted.
The flat-lying rocks at the top are Paleozoic (540 to 250 Ma).
The boundary between the two represents a time gap of nearly 300 million years.
Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.
These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.
[SE ]Figure 8.9 The four types of unconformities: (a) a nonconformity between non-sedimentary rock and sedimentary rock, (b) an angular unconformity, (c) a disconformity between layers of sedimentary rock, where the older rock has been eroded but not tilted, and (d) a paraconformity where there is a long period (millions of years) of non-deposition between two parallel layers.