stra·​tig·​ra·​phy | \ strə-ˈti-grə-fē How to pronounce stratigraphy (audio) \

Definition of stratigraphy

1 : geology that deals with the origin, composition, distribution, and succession of strata
2 : the arrangement of strata

Examples of stratigraphy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Finkelstein spent a year preparing for Megiddo, poring over stratigraphy and chronological charts. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "In Search of King David’s Lost Empire," 22 June 2020 An electromagnetic pulse is directed into the ground, and any objects or layering (stratigraphy) will be detectable in the reflections picked up by a receiver, just like regular radar. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "An ancient Roman city has been fully mapped using ground-penetrating radar," 14 June 2020 While the saga of HS2 is still being written, those small finds might resonate as much with the public as the discoveries of icons, like Matthew Flinders, whose life stories are embedded in the UK’s ever-changing stratigraphy. Megan Gannon, Popular Science, "Archaeologists and construction workers are teaming up to unearth historic relics," 13 Apr. 2020 And so stratigraphy — the study of layers (strata) of rock in relation to each other — was born. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Chronostratigraphy: How Scientists Unlock Deep Time," 30 June 2019 In stratigraphy, archaeologists assume that sites undergo stratification over time, leaving older layers beneath newer ones. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How archaeologists determine the date of ancient sites and artifacts," 28 June 2019 On top, a textured block that looks like it was chiseled out of Greece’s stratigraphy blends into the land and contains the attic, office space, and an expansive terrace. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Mirrored house disappears into the landscape," 27 June 2019 Students and faculty have to be able to ski across glaciers all day with heavy packs, dig snow pits to observe the density and stratigraphy at varying depths, and collect snowmelt on tarps for drinking water. Scott Yorko, Popular Mechanics, "Back to Alaska: How a Legendary Glacier Adventure Almost Died When the World Needed It Most," 12 Sep. 2018 The city’s geological stratigraphy has been repeatedly convulsed, metamorphosed under spectacular pressures. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stratigraphy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stratigraphy

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stratigraphy

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The first known use of stratigraphy was in 1841

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stratigraphy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for stratigraphy


stra·​tig·​ra·​phy | \ strə-ˈtig-rə-fē How to pronounce stratigraphy (audio) \
plural stratigraphies

Medical Definition of stratigraphy

More from Merriam-Webster on stratigraphy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stratigraphy Encyclopedia article about stratigraphy

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