Outcrop

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View of a bedrock outcrop near San Carlos Water, Falkland Islands San Carlos Water, Falkland Islands.jpg
View of a bedrock outcrop near San Carlos Water, Falkland Islands

An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. [1]

Bedrock Lithified rock under the regolith

Bedrock in geology is the lithified rock that lies under loose softer material called regolith within the surface of the Earth's crust or other terrestrial planets.

Superficial deposits refer to geological deposits typically of Quaternary age. These geologically recent unconsolidated sediments may include stream channel and floodplain deposits, beach sands, talus gravels and glacial drift and moraine. All pre-Quaternary deposits are referred to as bedrock.

Contents

Features

Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial deposits are covered by a mantle of soil and vegetation and cannot be seen or examined closely. However, in places where the overlying cover is removed through erosion or tectonic uplift, the rock may be exposed, or crop out. Such exposure will happen most frequently in areas where erosion is rapid and exceeds the weathering rate such as on steep hillsides, mountain ridges and tops, river banks, and tectonically active areas. In Finland, glacial erosion during the last glacial maximum (ca. 11000 BC), followed by scouring by sea waves, followed by isostatic uplift has produced many smooth coastal and littoral outcrops.

Soil mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life

Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, called the pedosphere, has four important functions:

Erosion Processes which remove soil and rock from one place on the Earths crust, then transport it to another location where it is deposited

In earth science, erosion is the action of surface processes that removes soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location on the Earth's crust, and then transports it to another location. This natural process is caused by the dynamic activity of erosive agents, that is, water, ice (glaciers), snow, air (wind), plants, animals, and humans. In accordance with these agents, erosion is sometimes divided into water erosion, glacial erosion, snow erosion, wind (aeolic) erosion, zoogenic erosion, and anthropogenic erosion. The particulate breakdown of rock or soil into clastic sediment is referred to as physical or mechanical erosion; this contrasts with chemical erosion, where soil or rock material is removed from an area by its dissolving into a solvent, followed by the flow away of that solution. Eroded sediment or solutes may be transported just a few millimetres, or for thousands of kilometres.

Tectonic uplift The portion of the total geologic uplift of the mean earth surface that is not attributable to an isostatic response to unloading

Tectonic uplift is the portion of the total geologic uplift of the mean Earth surface that is not attributable to an isostatic response to unloading. While isostatic response is important, an increase in the mean elevation of a region can only occur in response to tectonic processes of crustal thickening, changes in the density distribution of the crust and underlying mantle, and flexural support due to the bending of rigid lithosphere.

Bedrock and superficial deposits may also be exposed at the Earth's surface due to human excavations such as quarrying and building of transport routes.

Study

Outcrops allow direct observation and sampling of the bedrock in situ for geologic analysis and creating geologic maps. In situ measurements are critical for proper analysis of geological history and outcrops are therefore extremely important for understanding the geologic time scale of earth history. Some of the types of information that cannot be obtained except from bedrock outcrops or by precise drilling and coring operations, are structural geology features orientations (e.g. bedding planes, fold axes, foliation), depositional features orientations (e.g. paleo-current directions, grading, facies changes), paleomagnetic orientations. Outcrops are also very important for understanding fossil assemblages, and paleo-environment, and evolution as they provide a record of relative changes within geologic strata.

In situ is a Latin phrase that translates literally to "on site" or "in position." It can mean "locally", "on site", "on the premises", or "in place" to describe where an event takes place and is used in many different contexts. For example, in fields such as physics, geology, chemistry, or biology, in situ may describe the way a measurement is taken, that is, in the same place the phenomenon is occurring without isolating it from other systems or altering the original conditions of the test.

Geology The study of the composition, structure, physical properties, and history of Earths components, and the processes by which they are shaped.

Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science.

Geologic map special-purpose map made to show geological features

A geologic map or geological map is a special-purpose map made to show feature. Rock units or geologic strata are shown by color or symbols. Bedding planes and structural features such as faults, folds, are shown with strike and dip or trend and plunge symbols which give three-dimensional orientations features.

Accurate description, mapping, and sampling for laboratory analysis of outcrops made possible all of the geologic sciences and the development of fundamental geologic laws such as the law of superposition, the principle of original horizontality, principle of lateral continuity, and the principle of faunal succession.

Law of superposition In undeformed stratigraphic sequences, the oldest strata will be at the bottom of the sequence

The law of superposition is an axiom that forms one of the bases of the sciences of geology, archaeology, and other fields dealing with geological stratigraphy. It is a form of relative dating. In its plainest form, it states that in undeformed stratigraphic sequences, the oldest strata will be at the bottom of the sequence. This is important to stratigraphic dating, which assumes that the law of superposition holds true and that an object cannot be older than the materials of which it is composed.

Principle of original horizontality Layers of sediment are deposited approximately horizontally under the action of gravity

The Principle of Original Horizontality states that layers of sediment are originally deposited horizontally under the action of gravity. It is a relative dating technique. The principle is important to the analysis of folded and tilted strata. It was first proposed by the Danish geological pioneer Nicholas Steno (1638–1686).

Principle of lateral continuity

The principle of lateral continuity states that layers of sediment initially extend laterally in all directions; in other words, they are laterally continuous. As a result, rocks that are otherwise similar, but are now separated by a valley or other erosional feature, can be assumed to be originally continuous.

Examples

On Ordnance Survey maps in Great Britain, cliffs are distinguished from outcrops: cliffs have a continuous line along the top edge with lines protruding down; outcrops have a continuous line around each area of bare rock. An outcrop example in California is the Vasquez Rocks, familiar from location shooting use in many films, composed of uplifted sandstone. [2] [3] Yana is another example of outcrops, located in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India.

Ordnance Survey National mapping agency of the UK for Great Britain

Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping agency for Great Britain. The agency's name indicates its original military purpose, which was to map Scotland in the wake of the Jacobite rising of 1745. There was also a more general and nationwide need in light of the potential threat of invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. Since 1 April 2015 Ordnance Survey has operated as Ordnance Survey Ltd, a government-owned company, 100% in public ownership. The Ordnance Survey Board remains accountable to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is also a member of the Public Data Group.

Great Britain Island in the North Atlantic off the northwest coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.

California State in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Caicó Municipality in Nordeste, Brazil

Caicó, also known as the City of Prince, is a municipality in the Seridó Ocidental microrregion and Central Potiguar mesorregion, in Rio Grande do Norte state, Northeast Brazil. With a population of 62,709 inhabitants (2010), it is the seventh most populous city of Rio Grande do Norte and the second in the state, after Mossoró.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

Espoo City and municipality in Uusimaa, Finland

Espoo is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and most of its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki metropolitan area. Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. Other bordering municipalities of Espoo are Nurmijärvi and Vihti in the north, and Kirkkonummi in the west. The city is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the region of Uusimaa, and has a population of 284,444.

See also

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References

  1. Howell, J. V., 1960, Glossary of geology and related sciences. American Geological Institute, Washington, p. 207-208
  2. oxy.edu. Vazquez Rocks. access date:5/22/2010
  3. parks.lacounty.gov. Vazquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center. access date:5/22/2010