Formation of sedimentary rock, illustration

Formation of sedimentary rock, illustration

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Caption: Formation of sedimentary rock. Block illustration of mountains on land that are weathered to form sediments that flow down rivers into the sea, and settle over time to form sedimentary rocks on the seabed. The sediments (wavy layers) form into rocks (horizontal layers) under pressure and over millions of years of geologic time. Eventually, the process of plate tectonics results in the seabed being either subducted into the Earth and melted, or uplifted to form new land and mountains. This new land is weathered to form new sediments, and the cycle continues. This process relating to sedimentary rocks is itself part of the wider rock cycle. For this illustration with arrows showing the movement of the sediment, see image C038/7479.

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