Weathering and Transportation
Sedimentary Rock Processes
Weathering processes have been underway throughout Earth's history, affecting the size and shape of rocks. These processes occur in both subaerial and submarine environments and can include physical weathering, chemical weathering, or both. Physical weathering can involve wind/water erosion, freeze-thaw effects, and even wetting/drying effects. Chemical weathering can alter the original material of rocks via reactions with other elements contained within the air, ocean, or even rainwater. Weathering processes can vary in rate and are the first step in creating sediment to form sedimentary rocks.
After the formation of sediment, often times this sediment is transported throughout the environment via wind or water. Wind currents can begin sorting sediments across Earth's surface and forming dunes. Water transportation takes place in both freshwater and marine environments. Rivers can carry sediment large distances and even deposit material within the ocean. Surface and submarine currents within the oceans can redistribute sediment and transport material throughout the continental shelf or deeper into the ocean.