Erosion and Deposition: Stop and Go

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11137

The idea of rocks floating in water is kind of strange; however, that is one way the Earth changes. The rocks and sediment do eventually stop moving, and that's how some natural formations are formed!


Earth Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


In the previous Related Lesson, you learned that rocks, minerals, and soil can be broken down into smaller parts through the process of weathering. Are there any other ways that rocks, minerals, and soil can be moved or changed by natural forces?

In the previous lesson, found in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons, you learned about weathering.

Weathering is the first phase in the cycle that rocks, minerals, and soil go through as they are broken down, transformed, and moved to new locations.

Before you begin learning about erosion and deposition, review what you have learned about weathering. What is weathering? What are the three different types of weathering? Review these questions with a teacher or parent.

After rocks, minerals, and soil have been weathered, they go through a process called erosion. During erosion, sediments are moved from one location to another by natural forces such as water, wind, and ice. Sediments can be moved by ocean tides, blown about by wind, and rolled down a mountainside by melting glaciers.

To learn about the relationship between weathering and erosion, watch the Crash Course Kids video, Weathering and Erosion: Crash Course Kids #10.2:


Once erosion has occurred, do sediments keep moving continuously? No; eventually the sediments stop moving. When this happens, deposition has occurred.

Deposition means sediments have been deposited and are no longer moving. To see an example of deposition in action, view The Geological Society’s Rivers & Deltas. Make sure to play the animation for a good visual of what happens during deposition.

Re-read the question at the beginning of the lesson. Besides weathering, are there any other ways rocks, minerals, and soil can be moved or changed by natural forces? Discuss your response with a teacher or parent.

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