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Our Glaciers: Then and Now activity kit helps you see the changes taking place in glaciers around the world. See all our activity kits and classroom activities.
Coastal carvings: The Big Sur coastline in California is the result of a great geological uplifting, which occurred roughly 30 million years ago.
Image courtesy of Kip F. Evans

Ocean Literacy - Essential Principle 2

The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth.

Fundamental Concept 2a.
Many earth materials and geochemical cycles originate in the ocean. Many of the sedimentary rocks now exposed on land were formed in the ocean. Ocean life laid down the vast volume of siliceous and carbonate rocks.

Fundamental Concept 2b.
Sea level changes over time have expanded and contracted continental shelves, created and destroyed inland seas, and shaped the surface of land.

Fundamental Concept 2c.
Erosion—the wearing away of rock, soil and other biotic and abiotic earth materials—occurs in coastal areas as wind, waves, and currents in rivers and the ocean move sediments.

Fundamental Concept 2d.
Sand consists of tiny bits of animals, plants, rocks and minerals. Most beach sand is eroded from land sources and carried to the coast by rivers, but sand is also eroded from coastal sources by surf. Sand is redistributed by waves and coastal currents seasonally.

Fundamental Concept 2e.
Tectonic activity, sea level changes, and force of waves influence the physical structure and landforms of the coast.

Last modified July 29, 2009 by Becca Hatheway.

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The Winter 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on Earth System science, including articles on student inquiry, differentiated instruction, geomorphic concepts, the rock cycle, and much more!

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