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Stratigraphy is a branch of geology that studies rock strata with an emphasis on distribution, deposition, age and evidence of past life.

Nicolas Steno, William Smith, Georges Cuvier, Alexandre Brongniart, and James Hutton developed the basic rules for the science of stratigraphy.

The secondary rocks were thought to include interlayered basalts, which Werner thought formed by combustion of buried coal layers.

The Scottish geologist James Hutton (1726-1797) argued that granite and basalt by solidification within the earth (as opposed to precipitating in from oceanwater).

is a way to use geometric relationships between rock bodies to determine the sequence of geologic events in an area.

Hutton viewed tilted strata as having been initially deposited horizontally, and then were subsequently deformed (tilted and folded) by the forces of Earth's internal heat engine.Prior to the late 17th century, geologic time was thought to be the same as historical time.Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh, Ireland, 1654, added up generations from the Old Testament and determined that Earth formed on October 23, 4004 BCE.Imagine that throughout your life you’ve taken many pictures. Certain groups of fossil animals and plants occur in the geologic record in a specific order.Rather than putting them into a photo album they are stacked up in a box. If a scientist finds one of those fossils, they can then assume the age of the rock based on the age of the fossil.

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