Sedimentary Rocks

Any rock (igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic) exposed at the Earth's surface can become a sedimentary rock. The forces of wind, rain, snow, and ice combine to break down or dissolve (weather), and carry away (transport) rocks exposed at the surface. These particles eventually come to rest (deposited) and become hard rock (lithified).

Sedimentary rocks tell us what the Earth's surface was like in the geologic past. They can contain fossils that tell us about the animals and plants or show the climate in an area. Sedimentary rocks are also important because they may contain water for drinking or oil and gas to run our cars and heat our homes.

Mineral Photos courtesy of R.Weller/Cochise College