Epigenesis (geology)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Epigenesis ( adjective epigenetic ) is a term used in general geology and geomorphology and describes the emergence of features that emerged almost simultaneously, but according to the structures to which they belong. So they are younger than those around them, but almost the same age in terms of the standard of comparison. The opposite term is syngenetic .

Definition of terms

The Greek prefix epi has several meanings, such as "after", "afterwards", "around ..." or "additionally". All geological and geographical features that arose during and after the formation of the superordinate structures are epigenetic. In the frame of reference under consideration, however, the time of creation is close to that of the superordinate structure, i.e. it is related to its formation (genesis).


Epigenetic phenomena are common. Examples are around

  • Breakthrough valleys that cut into the underlying rock layers. They are epigenetic in terms of uplift .
  • Dikes of igneous rocks or mineral dikes that penetrate the host rock. They are epigenetic in terms of education.
  • many types of deposits .
  • certain ice wedges .


  • Hans Murawski and Wilhelm Meyer: Geological dictionary. 10th revised edition, 278 pages, Enke Verlag, Stuttgart 1998 ISBN 3-432-84100-0