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Geologic Processes Definition

Geologic processes change Earth's surface. For example, sedimentary rock forms by layering and cementing sediment.

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Rock Layers (Geologic Time)

Fun Facts

  • The oldest rock layers are at the bottom, newest at the top.
  • The KT boundary layer marks a mass extinction event caused by a meteor.
  • Fossils of aquatic life found in mountains indicate past environmental changes.

Why Do We Need To Know About Geologic Processes

Learning about geologic processes helps us know how the Earth works and its history. Scientists like paleontologists and geologists look at rocks and fossils to figure out what life was like a long time ago and how the Earth has changed. Geologists also help find important stuff like oil, gas, and minerals, showing how their work is useful for things we do every day.

Volcanoes, erosion, and plate tectonics are examples of geologic processes that can unearth new rock layers and fossils for scientists to study. This isn’t just about our planet; it also includes places like Mars and the Moon to learn how they came to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old is Earth and what do we use to keep track of major Earth events?
Earth is 4.6 billion years old and the geologic time scale is used to keep track of the events that have happened since Earth was formed.
What caused most of the dinosaurs to go extinct and how do scientists know?
A big meteor hit Earth, and scientists know this because they have found a rock layer they named the K-T boundary that show dinosaurs living before that layer but none after.
Explain how weathering and erosion can lead to creating some of the landforms we see?
Weathering and erosion made things like the Grand Canyon because the river weathered the rocks and erosion moved it down the river.
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