An outcrop is a portion of bedrock or other rock stratum that appears at or protrudes above the surface of the surrounding land. Shale showing on a valley floor or a boulder rising out of a meadow, for example, might each be described as an outcrop, or an outcropping. In Michael, Brother of Jerry, Jack London describes “the one rocky outcrop, in the dense heart of the mountain forest, where a score of rattlesnakes denned through the winters and warmed themselves in the sun.” A synonym is basset, which suggests that a portion or edge of a rock formation has emerged at or above the surface of the soil. Figuratively, an outcrop is a coming into outward manifestation of any hidden or inner quality or aspect.

Patricia Hampl