Groundwater Temperature's Measurement and Significance An unconformity is a surface between successive strata in the bedrock that represents a missing interval in the geologic record of time, and is produced either by an interruption in deposition or by the erosion of depositionally continuous strata followed by renewed deposition. Groundwater contractors have long realized the significance of the abundance of fractures and other types of openings in the bedrock immediately below the bedrock surface as often these zones provide good well yields. Further, the fractures and solution cavities are commonly connected so as to provide conduits for the movement of groundwater even in the densest rock. Pictured here is fractured rock located in the Mirror Lake, New Hampshire area. Photo courtesy USGS. [PUNIQGOOGLESNIPMIX-1
how do unconformities represent gaps in geologic time
The mountain exposure in the accompanying image is a great example. Here, thousands of sedimentary layers, or strata accumulated one at a time, one upon the other. Geologists tend to think of a succession like this as representing relatively continuous deposition of sediment, not necessarily uniform, but certainly continuous. However, we also recognize that between each stratum there is probably some missing time that represents the amount of time taken to change from one set of environmental conditions to another. For example, one layer may have been deposited as beach sand and the overlying layer in an estuary or tidal channel.
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Andrew Alden is a geologist who writes extensively about all aspects of geology, and leads research expeditions for professional organizations. Updated February 03, 2019 A 2005 research cruise in the remote Pacific found something surprising. nothing. The scientific team aboard the research vessel Melville, mapping and drilling in the central South Pacific seafloor, traced out a region of bare rock that's bigger than Alaska. It had none of the mud, clay, ooze, or manganese nodules that cover the rest of the deepest sea. This was not freshly made rock either, but oceanic crustal basalt that was 34 to 85 million years old.
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