How Do Flat Rocks End Up Folded?

Although the land you stand on seems like it is firmly in place, it is actually moving.  The Earth’s crust is divided up into pieces that are called “plates.”  These plates are slowly moving around the Earth.  While they are moving they sometimes bump into one another which causes the rocks on the plates to fold and push their way into mountains.

This photo shows the results of rocks being folded.  You can see how the rocks were originally deposited and formed in flat layers.  When the plates collided, the rock layers were pushed together into a fold.  When the rocks are folded into a “U” form it is called a syncline, and when the rocks are folded into a “∩” form it is called an anticline.

Kids, try this at home:  Use modeling clay or Play-doh in different colors to make “layers” of rock.  Using your hands, push the ends of the rock together and see how the layers fold and change from the pressure. See the full experiment here.

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