Abstract

Sedimentary rocks are the products which result from the interaction of energy and earth materials during weathering, transportation, deposition, and diagenesis. Energy which is transformed during the sedimentary process comes from the sun, the rotation of the earth, and to a smaller extent from the heat of the interior of the earth. The sedimentary process moves toward a decrease in free energy of the products from some reactions in its restricted system, but in other reactions the free energy of the products in the small system is increased. The formation of sedimentary rock-fuel illustrates the energy increase which is only a local and transitory upstream eddy in the overall, downstream flow of energy in the larger cosmic system. The sedimentary process is merely an intermediate stage or response of the earth's surface materials in the transfer of energy from the sun and earth to outer space. A few geologic examples of the transformation of energy during weathering, transportation, deposition, and diagenesis are given to illustrate the interplay of energy and materials by which sedimentary rocks are formed.

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