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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.
This stream carries sediment that has weathered from mountains in Alaska.
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Courtesy of Bruce Molnia, Terra Photographics

Step 2: Sediments on the Move!

If you sneeze into a pile of dust the little particles fly everywhere, but if you sneeze into a pile of rocks, they will stay put. It takes more force than a sneeze to move those rocks. Winds and water can have enough force to move rocks.

Very small pieces of sediment like mud and clay are picked up very easily by moving wind and water. But they can settle to the bottom of calm lakes or to the ground when the air or water stops moving.

Larger pieces of sediment can be carried in a stronger current, like fast moving water. Sediment that can sink to the bottom in a fast moving river must be very large and heavy.

Last modified August 25, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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