Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods

Living Edition
| Editors: W. Jack Rink, Jeroen Thompson

Walther’s Law of Facies

  • Gloria I. López
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6326-5_30-1



The Walther’s Law of Facies was introduced by the German geologist Johannes Walther (1860–1937) as an important geological principle, after the establishment of the concept of “facies,” one of the foundations of modern stratigraphy. Walther’s Law states that any vertical progression of facies is the result of a succession of depositional environments that are laterally juxtaposed to each other.

The original definition (Walther 1894) reads as follows and was translated from the original German language by G. Middleton in 1973:

The various deposits of the same facies-area and similarly the sum of the rocks of different facies-areas are formed beside each other in space, though in a cross section we see them lying on top of each other. As with biotypes, it is a basic statement of far reaching significance that only those facies and facies-areas can be superimposed primarily which can be observed beside each other at the present time.



Sedimentary Facies Facies Association Marine Transgression Stratigraphic Record Lateral Facies 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Friedman, G. M., Sanders, J. E., and Kopaska-Merkel, D. C., 1992. Principles of Sedimentary Deposits: Stratigraphy and Sedimentology. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Middleton, G., 1973. Johannes Walther’s law of correlation of facies. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 38, 979–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Reading, H. G., 1996. Sedimentary Environments and Facies. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Walther, J., 1894. Einleitung in die Geologie als historische Wissenschaft. In Lithogenesis der Gegenwart. Jena: G. Fischer, Bd. 3, pp. 535–1055.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Luminescence LaboratoryCentro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana CENIEHBurgosSpain
  2. 2.Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime StudiesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael