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For example, in the rocks exposed in the walls of the Grand Canyon (Figure 1) there are many horizontal layers, which are called strata.
The study of strata is called stratigraphy, and using a few basic principles, it is possible to work out the relative ages of rocks.
Thus, any deformations of strata (Figures 2 and 3) must have occurred after the rock was deposited.
However, the age of each fossil primate needs to be determined so that fossils of the same age found in different parts of the world and fossils of different ages can be compared.Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.Younger layers are deposited on top of older layers (principle of superposition).Layers that cut across other layers are younger than the layers they cut through (principle of cross-cutting relationships).
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In the Grand Canyon, the layers of strata are nearly horizontal.