Discovering Fossils states that the conditions necessary for fossil formation include rapid burial, ample sediment accumulation and eventual bedrock uplift. Time is also an important factor because fossils develop over millions of years. According to UK Fossils, most fossil discoveries occur at beaches, mines and quarries.Continue Reading
Rapid burial is essential for fossil formation because it prevents excessive decomposition. Dead animals that do not receive rapid burial decompose quickly, leaving nothing behind capable of fossilization.
After burial sediment accumulation presses the potential fossil deeper into the Earth's crust. During this process, the increasing pressure of the sediment layers squeezes all the remaining moisture out of the fossil. Minerals gradually infiltrate the pathways left by the escaping water. This phenomena is called perimineralization. Live Science states that this process is often called petrification, especially when referring to fossilized wood and other plant parts.
Millions of years of perimineralization create a precise copy of the fossil's former skeleton. The fossilized skeleton, however, is not subject to decay because it does not contain compounds that attract bacteria.
Completely perimineralized fossils are buried deep in the ground and must be brought close to the surface by geological uplift events such as earthquakes and volcanic activity. At this stage the fossils are ready for human discovery.Learn more about Earth Science
In geology, uplift refers to a considerable vertical movement of the Earth's crust and is one of the primary factors in the formation of mountains and other prominent landscape features. Some of the more spectacular examples of uplifts in the Earth's crust are the results of tectonic plate interactions that are involved in the process called orogenesis. Major mountain ranges, such as the Alps, were produced by the orogenic uplift resulting from a collision of one continental plate with another.Full Answer >
Coal is one of the three main fossil fuels. It accounts for a large percentage of energy production from fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.Full Answer >
A good index fossil is from an animal that lived over a limited geologic time. This allows geologists to determine the age of the rock by the presence of the fossil. Other characteristics include the fossil is easy to distinguish, the animal lived over a large range of Earth and that the animal was abundant.Full Answer >
Residual soil is the accumulation of soil caused by the erosion of underlying bedrock, while transported soil is soil deposited into new regions after erosion. Both types of soil are formed from the chemical and mechanical weathering of rock materials.Full Answer >