Deposition is a first-order phase transition that changes matter directly from gas to solid without passing through liquid first. We see this with ice when water vapor rapidly transforms to needle-like crystals on an extremely cold window pane.
Once weathering has broken down rocks, natural agents such as wind, water and gravity can transport the material to new sites for deposition. Their speed determines how far this sediment travels.
Sediments consist of solid particles of rock (sand, silt and clay), or the remains of once living things that have fallen to Earth as sediment. Transported by wind, running water, glaciers or gravity; eventually becoming compacted and cemented over time into sedimentary rocks.
Transport of sediment particles may result in their edges and corners becoming smoothed over by water or other forces; this process is known as abrasion; examples include sand dunes. Sediment can then be classified by its size, shape and composition.
Suspended sediment can irritate fish gills, leading to abnormalities and even death. It can bury and suffocate aquatic insects, amphibians and plants as well as clog spaces between larger gravel, cobble and boulders in stream beds; in addition, mud may bury and kill eggs of certain bird species before eventually decreasing viable habitat for many fish species.
Water movement possesses enough kinetic energy to move rocks and sediment around, yet its movement is only temporary; when it stops, particles that were floating in the water settle at its bottom, beginning deposition.
Size, speed and particle shape all play an integral part in how far sediment travels; smaller particles travel less distance while larger ones do more so that rounder shapes travel further than flat ones.
Thermal energy of particles is also an influential factor. Particles may lose enough thermal energy to transition directly from gaseous state to solid state without going through liquid state first; this process is known as physical vapor deposition and it is widely used industrially for coating surfaces with various materials; additionally it’s how stalactites and stalagmites form within caves.
Wind is the movement of air that disseminates heat, dust and pollutants from one point to another across Earth. It has the power to dry your clothes in summer while simultaneously chilling you to the bone during winter; uproot huge trees from their foundations; enable sailing ships across oceans as well as powered flight.
Wind moves due to uneven heating of Earth by sunlight. Air above land warms more rapidly than water-bound air, rising as warmer air rises faster and then cooler air rushes in to replace it and create wind.
Wind transports and deposits materials like sand dunes, barchans and loess as aeolian landforms; during a sandstorm it carries loads of sand between locations creating dunes and ripples. Furthermore, anemochory allows plants to spread their genes further.
Gravity is the force that keeps you on the ground and makes things fall. It keeps the moon orbiting Earth and causes ocean tides. Additionally, gravity brings together material for stars, planets and galaxies as it pulls at it from within our galaxy. Even light can be affected by gravity: when shining a flashlight upwards it slowly reddens as invisible gravitational pull pulls it.
Gravity’s effects depend on three elements: mass, distance between objects, and their direction of motion. Gravity is strongest near its source but weakens with distance; that’s why you feel its weight more when driving a car than walking uphill. Other forces can outweigh gravity such as electromagnetism or strong and weak interactions among subatomic particles.
Deposition occurs when an erosional agent such as wind, ice, water or waves no longer has enough energy to carry their load of eroded material and begins letting it settle at their feet – often near river mouths where sediments settle out to form deltas.