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Geologists find the cross-cutting principle especially useful for establishing the relative ages of faults and igneous intrusions in sedimentary rocks.

Sometimes, geologists find strange things inside the strata, like chunks of metamorphic or igneous rock.

Geologists use this type of method all the time to establish relative ages of rocks.

Now, what if instead of being horizontal, this rock layer was found in a tilted position?

We'll even visit the Grand Canyon to solve the mystery of the Great Unconformity!

Imagine that you're a geologist, studying the amazing rock formations of the Grand Canyon.

We're not so sure about the next layer down, but the one below it is 100 million years old. Not exactly, but we do know that it's somewhere between 70 and 100 million years old.Since we assume all the layers were originally horizontal, then anything that made them not horizontal had to have happened after the fact.We follow this same idea, with a few variations, when we talk about cross-cutting relationships in rock.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

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