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the process of fossilizing a plant or animal that existed in some earlier age


the perserved trace, imprint, or remains of a plant or animal - almost always found in sedimentary rocks

Replaced Remains

the soft parts of plants and animals decay - the hard parts are replaced by minerals

Mold and Cast

an impression that an organism leaves behind after decaying and then is filled in - the mold shows the original shape of the fossil (mold is the hole)


a copy of the shape of the organism that made the mold

Trace Fossils

any indirect evidence of life preserved as an impression in rock; trails, footprints, tracks, burrows, and bite marks

Carbonaceous Films

when sediment piles up increasing pressure and heat on a buried organism a thin film of detailed carbon residue is left behind

Index Fossils

fossils from species that existed on Earth for
(1) short periods of time, (2) Rwere abundant, and were (3) widespread geographically

Index Fossils *

determines the age of the rock layers

VA fossils

found in Coastal Plain, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau - most made of marine organisms

VA Provinces

Coastal Plains, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, Allegheny Plateau

Relative Dating

the process of placing events in the events in the sequence in which they occurred


a fault or intrusion is younger than the rock it cuts through

Coastal Plains

made up of sedimentary rocks, sand and gravel - at the fall line, waterfalls


(the foot of the mountain) made up igneous and metamorhic rock (245 -570 mya) - no fossils

Blue Ridge

Highest mountains in VA. Mount Rogers highest peak. Made up of igneous and metamorphic rock, oldest rocks in VA (245 - mya)

Valley and Ridge

an area of long parallel ridges separated by valleys - made up of sedimentary rocks,
(350-570 mya), fossils include sea critters

Appalachian Plateau

area known for coal, oil and natural gas - made up of sedimetary rocks

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