Geological cross-sections

  • Alex Maltman


Rock formations are readily observed in steep faces, such as cliffs, canyons, and mountainsides, in a kind of natural cross-section. It is perhaps for this reason that cross-sections seem more immediately familiar than geological maps, and give a more striking picture of the arrangement of the beds. This is borne out historically, as sections were being drawn long before geological maps. Cross-sections portray the arrangement of the rocks as seen in a vertical plane. They are extremely useful devices but, nevertheless, they are strictly two-dimensional. It is the combination of the vertical cross-sections with horizontal geological maps that forms such an effective means of working with three-dimensional geology on paper.


Vertical Scale Structure Section Section Line Stratigraphic Section Topographic Profile 
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Selected further reading

  1. Langstaff, C.S. and Morrill, D. (1981).Geologic cross Sections, Boston, International Human Resources Development CorporationGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Alex Maltman 1990

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  • Alex Maltman

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