Sedimentary rock forms in layers over millions of years. If you look at a cliff made from sedimentary rock, you’ll notice distinct layers that may even be different colors. Changes in the environment cause changes in the rocks. For example, a volcanic eruption may create a layer made of hardened ash. The oldest layers of rock are at the bottom. Newer layers are at the top.
Sometimes, the layers are twisted or tilted because of the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates. Rocks on a fault line may snap or break. Scientists study these layers to learn more about the Earth’s history. Radiometric dating measures radioactive elements in the rocks. Scientists can learn exactly how old a rock is by using radiometric dating.
Fun Facts about Layers of Rocks for Kids
- The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. We are now in the Quaternary Period.
- By studying sedimentary rock, scientists learn a lot about each period of Earth’s history.
- Scientists make geological maps that show how old rocks are in a certain place.
Layers of Rocks Vocabulary
- Sedimentary rock: rock that forms from soft sediment
- Volcanic eruption: when a volcano explodes or erupts
- Radiometric dating: method of reading radioactive elements in rock
All About Layers of Rocks Video for Kids
This is the best video we found for kids to learn all about Layers of Rocks:
This is a video presentation about how rock layers, or strata, can fold within the earth. Sedimentary rocks start out in horizontal layers.
Layers of Rocks Q&A
Question: What are rock layers called?
Answer: Rock layers are known as strata.
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