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Correlation based on the physical features of the rock record also has been used with some success, but it is restricted to small areas that generally extend no more than several hundred kilometres.
The first step is determining whether similar beds in separated outcrops can actually be traced laterally until they are seen to be part of the same original layer.
The more ways in which two rocks are physically alike, the more likely it is that the two formed at the same time.
Only a partial listing of physical characteristics is necessary to indicate the breadth of approach in this area.
Such features as colour, ripple marks, mud cracks, raindrop imprints, and slump structures are directly observable in the field.
Precambrian rocks must therefore be correlated by means of precise isotopic dating.faunal succession is a secondary principle.
The basis for assuming that like fossils indicate contemporary formation is faunal succession.