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Many other indicators are commonly present, including ones that can even tell you the angle of the depositional surface at the time ("geopetal structures"), "assuming" that gravity was "down" at the time, which isn't much of an assumption :-).

In more complicated situations, like in a mountain belt, there are often faults, folds, and other structural complications that have deformed and "chopped up" the original stratigraphy.

The simplest situation for a geologist is a "layer cake" succession of sedimentary or extrusive igneous rock units arranged in nearly horizontal layers.

In such a situation, the "principle of superposition" is easily applied, and the strata towards the bottom are older, those towards the top are younger.

In this situation, the cave contents are younger than both the bedrock below the cave and the suspended roof above.For example, the principle of superposition is based, fundamentally, on gravity.In order for a layer of material to be deposited, something has to be beneath it to support it.It can't float in mid-air, particularly if the material involved is sand, mud, or molten rock.The principle of superposition therefore has a clear implication for the age of a vertical succession of strata.

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