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Earth Science
The Rock on the Bottom

Earth Science
Earth Science


The Rock on the Bottom
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.88

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aragonite, breccia, breccias, clay-sized, conglomerate, evaporites, precipitate, sand-sized, sedimentum, angular, halite, calcite, clastic, cementation, finer, sandstone


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The Rock on the Bottom
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     
As I laid on a rock,
I received such a shock,
Another rock upon me lay,
Dried and hardened throughout the day,
Before I knew it, many more had lain upon me,
Many strata as far as the eye can see...

 
2     If sedimentary rocks could talk, would they complain about carrying the weight of other rocks on their backs? Or would they speak about the many years of history their layers have witnessed? Since geologists do not have the privilege of studying "talking" rocks, they must rely on their observations of the layers and their formation to tell the true story.
 
3     A sedimentary rock's life begins with the sediment. Our planet's surface is constantly worn down by physical weathering and erosion. The wind and rain chip away at the rocks on the surface, breaking them into smaller fragments. These smaller fragments of rocks, minerals, and organic material are carried by running water, waves, and glacial ice to other areas. As the sediment is moved, it continues to be broken down physically or chemically altered. The composition of sediment is based on the source of its materials. Over time, the sediment is deposited in different areas. It's the build-up of this sediment that creates the sedimentary rock. The solid materials settle out of the fluid or water. In fact, the word "sedimentary" comes from the Latin word sedimentum, which means "settling." Debris from weathered bedrock, particles of sand from dunes, mud from swamp floors, and surprisingly, household dust all become part of the sediment train. Now that the sediment has been deposited, it goes through the processes of compaction and cementation.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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