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He concluded that process that are currently operating on the Earth must be the same processes that operated in the past.This principle is often stated as "the present is the key to the past".
Note that you can follow the layers all along the walls of the canyon, and you can find the same layers on both sides of the canyon.Thus, we can deduce that the mudstone and shale are older than the rhyolite dike.But, since the rhyolite dike does not cut across the shale, we know the shale is younger than the rhyolite dike.Once these age relations were worked out, another principle fell into place - the principle of fossil succession.
We discuss the 7 principles of stratigraphy first and then see how these apply to fossils.
Principles of Stratigraphy Stratigraphy is the study of strata (sedimentary layers) in the Earth's crust.