As one of Steno's Laws, the Principle of Original Horizontality served well in the nascent days of geological science.
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However, it is now known that not all sedimentary layers are deposited purely horizontally. For instance, coarser grained sediments such as sand may be deposited at angles of up to 15 degrees, held up by the internal friction between grains which prevents them slumping to a lower angle without additional reworking or effort.
This is known as the angle of repose , and a prime example is the surface of sand dunes. Similarly, sediments may drape over a pre-existing inclined surface: Also sedimentary beds may pinch out along strike , implying that slight angles existed during their deposition.
Thus the Principle of Original Horizontality is widely, but not universally, applicable in the study of sedimentology , stratigraphy and structural geology. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Layers of sediment are deposited approximately horizontally under the action of gravity.
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Principle of original horizontality
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