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Much of the Earth's geology consists of successional layers of different rock types, piled one on top of another.
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.
his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale.
It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their , and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already (refer to "Other Sources" for more information).
The layers of rock are known as "strata", and the study of their succession is known as "stratigraphy".
Fundamental to stratigraphy are a set of simple principles, based on elementary geometry, empirical observation of the way these rocks are deposited today, and gravity.