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

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 Since Charles Darwin’s time, paleontology—especially the study of the marine invertebrates that make up most of the record—involved descriptive tasks such as classifying or correlating fossils with layers of the Earth (known as stratigraphy). David Sepkoski, The Atlantic, "19th-Century Paleontology Was at the Forefront of Big Data," 14 Feb. 2018 And the stratigraphy at the site is unclear, raising questions about whether the artifacts are as old as the soil they were embedded in. Andrew Lawler, Science | AAAS, "Neandertals, Stone Age people may have voyaged the Mediterranean," 24 Apr. 2018 Their technique could allow other art historians to study the stratigraphy of paintings in the same way that seismologists study the structure of underground rock formations. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "In Picasso’s Blue Period, Scanners Find Secrets He Painted Over," 20 Feb. 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

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Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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The first known use of stratigraphy was in 1841

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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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