How rocks deform
Rocks seem to be rigid and unyielding, but given enough time, they can change shape, and even flow. Unlike cold, brittle rocks, hot rocks under pressure are ductile — they flow and deform like putty. The dramatic folds exposed on mountainsides and in the samples in this exhibit were created when rocks were deformed in this way. Similar folds are forming today, deep in the roots of mountains.
Topic: Earth Science
Subtopic: Earth Formation/Evolution
Keywords: Rock deformation, Rocks
This rock illustrates how seemingly brittle material can flow, given enough time and heat.
Geologists conduct experiments on rocks to discover how they respond to heat and pressure.
When rocks are compressed, they deform by bending and folding.