Archive "Understanding Landscapes"
What Types of Sediments Form in Familiar Surface Environments?

How Do Rocks Form?

VARIOUS PROCESSES OPERATE on and within Earth to produce the variety of rocks we observe in landscapes. Many common rocks form in stream bottoms, beaches, or other familiar environments on Earth’s surface. Other rocks form in less familiar environments, under high pressure deep within Earth, or at high temperatures associated with a volcano. To understand […]

What Is the Difference Between a Rock and a Mineral?

What Materials Compose Landscapes?

WHAT MATERIALS MAKE UP THE WORLD around us? What do we see if we look closely at an exposure of rock? How does the rock look when viewed with a magnifying glass? Such properties of these rocks control landscape formation. We investigate these questions using the beautiful scenery of Yosemite National Park in California. What […]

Understanding Landscapes

Understanding Landscapes

THE FOUNDATIONS OF LANDSCAPES INCLUDE VARIOUS MATERIALS, including black lava flows, white sandy beaches, red cliffs, and gray granite hills. What causes these differences from one natural landscape to another, and how did the different kinds of materials form? Here, we explore landscapes and the materials that compose them. We also examine the processes that […]