Determine the relative amount of sand, silt, and clay in sediment

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:Utah Geological Survey (UGS)
Summary:In the grand geological-recycling scheme, sediment is (A) the product of weathering and erosion of rock and (B) the material for future rocks. Sediment grains range in size from tiny clay particles to large pieces of gravel, and even boulders. This article describes a simple experiment using a settling container to determine the relative amounts of sand, silt, and clay in sediment. The maximum size of sediment and the relative amounts of sand, silt, and clay in sediment are clues that help geologists decipher the geologic history of the sediment and resulting sedimentary rock.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1; Big Idea 3
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS2.A
NGSS Performance Expectations:4-ESS2-1; 5-ESS2-1; MS-ESS2-1
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Developing and using models; Planning and carrying out investigations
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Stability and change; Systems and system models
Subjects: 6-8; 9-12; elementary school; erosion; geologic time; geology; high school; k-12; k-3; k-4; k-5; k-5 geosource; k-6; k-8; k-9; middle school
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