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Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs --- The red Lyons Formation sandstone layers were uplifted vertically when the Rocky Mountains were uplifted. The 14,000 foot Pikes Peak in the background is a lone Precambrian granite intrusion.
Mt. Sopris, Carbondale --- The granitic magma that solidified to form this mountain was intruded below sedimentary layers that have since been eroded away on top, but still remain tilted upwards along the edges.
El Peñón de Guatapé is a granitic monolith that rises about 200 m above the surrounding landscape, in the Antioquia region of NW Colombia. These isolated landforms are also known as "inselbergs" and are typical of granitic rocks in tropical regions.
A "nonconformity" is a type of discontinuity surface where sedimentary rocks lie above crystalline rocks. The dashed line in the picture marks a nonconformity between the Mesoproterozoic Pikes Peak Granite (bottom/right) and the Pennsylvanian conglomerates of the Fountain Formation (top/left), near Denver, CO. The contact in this outcrop (near Red Rocks Amphitheater) is marked by a plaque.
One of the basic principles of stratigraphy is the "principle of inclusion." The principle states that if fragments of a rock unit are found included in a second rock unit, the second unit is younger than the first. In this picture, fragments of the Mesoproterozoic Pikes Peak granite (like the clast on which the pencil is resting) are included in a conglomerate layer of the Pennsylvanian Fountain Formation, CO. We infer that the granite must have existed as a solid rock body that was broken and eroded before and during the deposition of the conglomerate layer. Therefore, this principle helps establishing a relative sequence of events. The principle was already understood by Nicolas Steno, the father of stratigraphy. In his "Prodromus," published in 1669, he writes: "these same bodies had already become hard at the time when the matter of the earth and rock containing them was still fluid. And not only did the earth and rock not produce the bodies contained in them, but they did not even exist as such when those bodies were produced in them” (pp. 15-16).