GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rock cycle, artwork. At left, fine particles are deposited on a sea floor. Then geological forces uplift this entire region so that it becomes mountains. Pressure from the sides and the uplifting force convert the sedimentary rocks in the bed to metamorphic rocks (brown). The forces also warp and buckle the previously flat strata. Wind and water erosion wear down the mountains over millennia, which eventually leads to sandy sediment being deposited on top of the metamorphic rock. Regions where sedimentary rock lie on top of metamorphic rock are known as nonconformities, and are a type of unconformity, a gap in time in rock layers.
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