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241

sandstone

OLogy Series
geology
card
241

sandstone

OLogy Series
geology

Sandstone is made of tiny pieces of sand you can see and feel. You can actually scratch away grains of sand from a piece of sandstone. It forms when wind, ice, and water carry away grains of sand and drop them someplace new-usually at the bottom and along sides of rivers, lakes, and coastlines. As more and more layers of sand build up, they become compacted to form a solid rock, held together by a natural "cement."

Sandstone is formed:

in or near water

in volcanoes

in glaciers

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Sandstone forms in marine environments, like coastal dunes and sandbars, as well as freshwater environments like rivers.

Rondi Davies: Earth scientist

I'm amazed that the Old Red Sandstone can be traced across many continents, helping us put together pieces of the puzzle on how the continents were once connected as Pangaea.

Sandstone is soft because it's made of sand.

Fact
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Fiction
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Fiction

Sandstone is actually really hard because it's made of quartz, a really hard mineral. It is often used to make buildings.

Sandstone is very rare.

Fact
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Fiction
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Fiction

Sandstone is one of the most common sedimentary rocks on Earth. It is found anywhere there's sand or used to be sand. It can be black, yellow, red, or green.

Definition: a rock that forms from layers of sand-sized pieces of quartz
Type: sedimentary
Appearance: sandy; may be layered; colors include tan, brown, red
Grain size: medium (about the size of sand)
Primary mineral: quartz
Cool fact: Sandstone is found in some of the world's most spectacular formations, like the Grand Canyon.

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH; Rondi Davies: courtesy of AMNH.