Curious Nature: An ode to sedimentary rock | VailDaily.com

Curious Nature: An ode to sedimentary rock

Scott Dunn
Walking Mountains Science Center

Here in the valley  
Where the Eagle flows,
The Earth continues its journey.
Beneath our feet, a tale not everyone knows.

On the surface of history we rest.
To look into the crust
To look into the rock
And see the past firmly pressed.  

Igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary interlock.
Here, sedimentary rocks are ever prevalent.
Rocks recycled from rock,
Sedimentary rock have three unique forms of development.

Rocks are broken apart,
Small particles called sediment form.
Compacted by weight from above  
And cemented by minerals dissolved in water start
To form new — clastic sedimentary rock is born.
Sandstone, limestone, shale are examples of.

Formed from living things,
Sedimentary rocks can also be organic.
From the ground things like coal springs,
Petrified wood and dinosaur bones stick.

Chemical precipitates are the final formation.
Minerals dissolved in solution finally succumb
To evaporation and crystallization.
Leaving behind familiar salt, quartz, and gypsum.

Ancient landscapes abound,
Trapped in the sedimentary rock of this country.
Red Maroon formation, ancestral Rockies worn down.
Grey Eagle Valley evaporite, remains of a doomed sea.
Our homes, perched atop sedimentary.       

Scott Dunn is a Naturalist at Walking Mountains Science Center. When Scott is not busy writing geologic prose, he is not taking anything for granite and you will find him outside exploring and perhaps enjoying some rocky road ice cream.