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Earth Science
Pebbles to Mountains



Pebbles to Mountains
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    noncrystalline, cementation, transporters, metamorphic, composition, deposition, classify, organic, geologists, continental, compression, portion, geologic, analyze, harden, molten


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Pebbles to Mountains
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Before you pick up that rock, you should know that it has traveled a long way. It is amazing that we take these important substances for granted. If you were to examine a rock closely, you might observe more than one mineral or solid particle within its internal structure. Or you might find a rock that appears to have a smooth and glass-like composition. Geologists are the scientists who classify rocks and analyze the processes that form rocks on our planet. Rocks give scientists information about the environments where they were formed. Since rocks are a huge portion of the Earth's crust we see around us, it is important for us to understand how they form.
 
2     There are three major types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Igneous rocks form as a result of volcanic activity. In fact, the word igneous is Latin meaning "from fire." When magma cools and hardens, igneous rock is born. Once molten magma reaches the Earth's surface, it is referred to as lava.
 
3     Sedimentary rock forms after the processes of erosion, deposition, and cementation occur. As wind and waves beat on the Earth's surface, rocks are broken down into smaller particles through erosion. These smaller particles are from every type of rock. Once these rocks, along with mineral crystals and organic materials, are broken down, they are called sediment. Rivers and streams are huge transporters of sediment. They and the wind move these materials and deposit them in other areas. The deposited sediment becomes compressed as more layers are added. Eventually, this compression causes the sediment to become cemented, or glued, together and to harden. Through these processes, sedimentary rock is formed.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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