Synonym: Depositional break
A hiatus is sometimes called a ‘break’ and is a small-scale, relatively short-duration interruption during sedimentation. A hiatus is different from a lacuna because it only represents a short duration of absence of deposition, and denudation rarely or never occurs before sedimentation resumes. Hiatuses are common in conformable rock strata and are generally not easy to identify; however, because discontinuities in organism types often indicate discontinuous sedimentation or a depositional break, biostratigraphic techniques are commonly employed. For example, missing fossil zones can be used to identify a break in deposition.