Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sedimentary rocks cover most of the Earth's surface, record much of the Earth's history, and harbor the fossil record. Sedimentology is closely linked to stratigraphy, the study of the physical and temporal relationships between rock layers or strata.
Sedimentology encompasses the study of modern sediments and the processes that deposit those sediments. It also compares these observations to studies of ancient sedimentary rocks. Sedimentologists apply their understanding of modern processes to historically formed sedimentary rocks, allowing them to understand how they formed.
Uniformitarian geology, the premise that the processes affecting the earth today are the same as in the past, is the basis for determining how sedimentary features in the rock record were formed. By finding similar features today- sand dunes in the Sahara, or Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado, U.S.A., the ancient sandstones, for example the Wingate Sandstone of Utah and Arizona of the southwest U. S. A. can be determined to have formed from eolian (wind) deposition.
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