of a stratum or strata.

1870–75; strat(um) + -al1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stratum (ˈstrɑːtəm)
n , pl -ta, -tums
1.  (usually plural) any of the distinct layers into which sedimentary rocks are divided
2.  biology a single layer of tissue or cells
3.  a layer of any material, esp one of several parallel layers
4.  a layer of ocean or atmosphere either naturally or arbitrarily demarcated
5.  a level of a social hierarchy that is distinguished according to such criteria as educational achievement or caste status
[C16: via New Latin from Latin: something strewn, from sternere to scatter]

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Example sentences
It can be difficult to recognize these subtle stratal geometries in outcrop.
These four wave modes image unique geologic stratigraphy and facies and at the
  same time reflect independent stratal surfaces.
Physical surfaces and stratal stacking patterns identified in outcrop have
  direct counterparts in the well logs.
The ages and stratal relationships, rather than the name, are important.
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