MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Formation of sedimentary rock. Block illustration of the flow of sediments (arrows) from mountains on land, down rivers into the sea, and settling 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 without arrows, see images C038/7480 and C038/7481.
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