avocado in urdu Lithification Defined and Explained – ThoughtCo - MywallpapersMobi

avocado in urdu Lithification Defined and Explained – ThoughtCo


The processes by which loose sediment is hardened
to rock are collectively called LITHIFICATION.  Once
this happens, continued erosion and re-transport of the sediment become much
more difficult.  There are three basic ways that lithification is

One way to harden sediment is simple COMPACTION,
but this only
works for some types of very fine sediment.  Coarser sediment particles
usually do not lithify in this way because getting them closer does nothing to
cause them to "stick".  Clay minerals are different,
however.  These tiny particles are very much like miniscule, plate-shaped
mica grains, and like micas they have slight electrical charges on their
surfaces.  Pressing them together, particularly if it involves rotating
them such that their flat surfaces come into contact, allows them to establish
attractions for each other very much like Van der Waals bonds.  The
electrical charges tend to make them adhere to each other.  As with Van der
Waals bonds, however, the attraction is not terribly strong, and sediments
lithified in this way are generally not particularly resistant to subsequent

A second natural method of lithifying sediment is
by RECRYSTALLIZATION of some or all of the constituent
minerals.  Limestones and other chemical sedimentary rocks are most
susceptible to this process because their minerals are fairly easy to modify in
surface environments.  Much natural CaCO3 in the Earth’s ocean
is not calcite but a different mineral called "aragonite". 
Aragonite takes up less volume per molecule than calcite.  It is not really
stable in fresh water, so once rainwater comes into contact with it, it changes
into calcite.  The crystals grow larger because of this transformation and
tend to mesh themselves together as they do so.  This locks the particles
together, making the entire structure stronger and harder.

The most common method of lithifying coarse
grained sediments is by CEMENTATION.  Sedimentary
particles are deposited in contact with each other, but there is also a certain
amount of empty space in a pile of sediment.  As water carrying dissolved
ions fills in that empty space, the ions may crystallize new minerals between
the grains.  In the process of growth these newly forming crystals become
enmeshed with each other, as we saw in recrystallization, and the result is once
again a more cohesive, harder mass that the original loose sediment.

Quartz cement is quite common in nature, and
tends to make the hardest rocks.  Calcite and hematite are also rather
common, but tend not to lithify the rock as tightly.  Halite and gypsum
cements occur in some special environments, but they are poor cementing
agents.  Many other minerals are known to act as cements; all but the few
mentioned above are quite rare.



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Lithification (from the Ancient Greek word lithos meaning ‘rock’ and the Latin -derived suffix -ific) is the process in which sediments compact under pressure , expel connate fluids , and gradually become solid rock. Essentially, lithification is a process of porosity destruction through compaction and cementation . Lithification includes all the processes which convert unconsolidated sediments into sedimentary rocks . Petrifaction , though often used as a synonym, is more specifically used to describe the replacement of organic material by silica in the formation of fossils . [1]

See also[ edit ]

  • Diagenesis

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ Monroe, J.S.; Wicander, R.; Hazlett, R.W. (2006). Physical Geology: Exploring the Earth (6th ed.). Belmont: Thomson. pp. 203–204. ISBN   9780495011484 .

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      • This page was last edited on 29 August 2017, at 10:35 (UTC).
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