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[uhn-kuh n-fawr-mi-tee] /ˌʌn kənˈfɔr mɪ ti/
noun, plural unconformities.
lack of conformity; incongruity; inconsistency.
  1. a discontinuity in rock sequence indicating interruption of sedimentation, commonly accompanied by erosion of rocks below the break.
  2. the interface between such strata.
Origin of unconformity
1590-1600; un-1 + conformity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unconformity
  • If this happened in a geological sequence it would be called an unconformity.
  • The exposures of the unconformity between the ancient quartzite and the overlying sandstone are world famous.
  • The unconformity at the top of the paleosols and the base of the coal is interpreted as a fourth-order sequence boundary.
  • The gap in time between the igneous rocks forming and the conglomerate is our great unconformity.
British Dictionary definitions for unconformity


noun (pl) -ties
lack of conformity
the contact surface between younger and older rocks representing a discontinuity in the geological record. Most commonly it represents an erosional surface
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unconformity

c.1600, from un- (1) "not" + conformity. Geological sense is from 1829.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unconformity in Science
A surface between successive strata representing a missing interval in the geologic record of time, produced either by an interruption in deposition or by the erosion of depositionally continuous strata followed by renewed deposition. An unconformity is a type of discontinuity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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