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USGS CMG InfoBank: Nature Recycles Materials

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Comment: 08:41 - 09:29 (00:48)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 7. Mountain Building
Keywords: "James Hutton", sediment, mountain, "sea floor", uplift, erosion, "plate tectonics", orogeny

Our transcription: Hutton had no explanation for how marine sediment could be uplifted and added to dry land.
He simply observed that it had occurred.
He also recognized that as the rock of mountains is eroded down it supplies new sediment to the sea floor which, in turn, can be converted to rock and uplifted forming new mountains.
The fact that a great deal of material in nature is recycled over and over was one of Hutton's most brilliant insights.
It showed that the land grows from the sea.
The Theory of Plate Tectonics developed nearly two centuries after Hutton's time explains how the ocean floor rises to become mountains.

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