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What Is the First Step of the Lithification Process?

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Quick Answer

According to About.com, the first step of the lithification process is compaction. This step involves the squeezing of sediments into a smaller volume by making the particles more closely packed, by eliminating water from the pore space or by pressure solution at contact points.

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Compaction occurs when sediment is laid down and then slowly buried and compressed under new layers of sediment. Fresh sediment particles are normally loose substances and have a lot of pores that are filled with water or air. After reducing the pore space, the process of cementation occurs. This next step of the lithification process involves filling pore space with minerals such as quartz or calcite.

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