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catastrophism

the view that most of earth's geological features are the result of large-scale catastrophes such as floods, volcanic eruptions, etc.

uniformitarianism

the view that most of earth's geological features are the result of slow, gradual processes that have been at work for millions or even billions of years.

humus

the decayed remains of once-living creatures

minerals

inorganic crystalline substances found naturally in the earth

weathering

the process by which rocks are broken down by the forces of nature

erosion

the process by which sediments and rock fragments are carried away by wind or rain

unconformity

a surface of erosion that separates one layer of rock from another

sedimentary rock

rock formed from sediments (sand, silt, and other components of soil) and laid down by water or some other agent.

igneous rock

rock formed from molten rock, which is usually called magna.

metamorphic rock

rock that has undergone extreme change due to lots of heat and pressure.

lamination

when a single layer of rock is less than 1 centimeter

nonconformity

when stratified layers rest on top of unstratified layers

disconformities

when there are parallel, stratified rock layers above and below the unconformity, but there is a clear surface of erosion between them

paraconformities

unidentifiable unconformities

intrusion

"veins" of igneous rock that shoot right through several layers of sedimentary rock

sills

intrusions that run in the same direction as the strata

dikes

"veins" that run perpendicular to the dirrection of the strata

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