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In stratigraphy
Stratigraphy, a branch of geology, studies rock layers and layering . It is primarily used in the study of sedimentary and layered volcanic rocks....

, bedrock is the native consolidated rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet
Terrestrial planet
A terrestrial planet, telluric planet or rocky planet is a planet that is composed primarily of silicate rocks or metals. Within the Solar System, the terrestrial planets are the inner planets closest to the Sun...

, usually the Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil
Subsoil, or substrata, is the layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground. The subsoil may include substances such as clay and/or sand that has only been partially broken down by air, sunlight, water, wind etc., to produce true soil...

. The top of the bedrock is known as rockhead and identifying this, via excavations, drilling or geophysical
Geophysics is the physics of the Earth and its environment in space; also the study of the Earth using quantitative physical methods. The term geophysics sometimes refers only to the geological applications: Earth's shape; its gravitational and magnetic fields; its internal structure and...

 methods, is an important task in most civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

 projects. Superficial deposits (also known as drift
Drift (geology)
In geology, drift is the name for all material of glacial origin found anywhere on land or at sea , including sediment and large rocks...

) can be extremely thick, such that the bedrock lies hundreds of metres below the surface.

Bedrock may also experience subsurface weathering
Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soils and minerals as well as artificial materials through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, biota and waters...

 at its upper boundary, forming saprolite
Saprolite is a chemically weathered rock. Saprolites form in the lower zones of soil profiles and represent deep weathering of the bedrock surface. In most outcrops its color comes from ferric compounds...


A solid geologic map
Geologic map
A geologic map or geological map is a special-purpose map made to show geological features. Rock units or geologic strata are shown by color or symbols to indicate where they are exposed at the surface...

 of an area will usually show the distribution of differing rock types; i.e., rock that would be exposed at the surface if all soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

or other superficial deposits were removed.