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Gordon Glacier

Earth processes

Hello, my name is Gordon. I would like to show you some of the really cool ways that the surface of the earth is constantly being changed.


Natural forces have the power to change our landscape by weathering, erosion and deposition.

Weathering is the process where rock Larry is dissolved, worn away or broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. There are mechanical, chemical and organic weathering processes.

Gordon glacierWeathering and erosion

Geologists use the word sediment when they talk about fragments of rock. Gravel, sand and mud are all sediments.

Geologists are 'earth detectives'. Just like other detectives, we need clues that can help us explain what happened in the past. Studying what happens at the coast, in rivers or in the desert can help us figure out how landscapes change and sedimentary rocks form.

Gordon glacierWhy geologists study earth processes

Gordon glacierWherever I appear, click me for more information.

Different kinds of sediments are shown on superficial geology maps Manuel. This superficial geology map of Flanders, Belgium is from the OneGeology Portal.

Can you guess what made the green shapes?

Yes, that's right. Alluvium (river deposits) are shown in green on the superficial geology map of Flanders, Belgium. See the riversGordon page for more information.

More information

We are going to find out about:

Gordon glacierGlaciers

Ice can carve valleys and deposit huge piles of rock and sediment.

Nærøyfjord (narrow fjord), Norway. © Richard Burt

Gordon glacierCoasts

Waves and tides erode shorelines and build beaches.

A beach has formed at the bottom of an eroded cliff.  Man O' War Bay, Dorset, England. © Richard Burt

Gordon glacierRivers

Rivers cut deep canyons and build deltas.

The Elora Gorge is being eroded by the Grand River.  Elora, Ontario, Canada. © Richard Burt

Gordon glacierDeserts

Wind can sandblast rocks smooth and build huge sand dunes.

Example of sand dunes.

Gordon glacierMass movements

Gravity causes cliffs and hills to crumble and slide away.

Rock falls at Hunstanton cliffs, Norfolk, England. © Richard Burt