Oil is formed when organic materials are buried under sedimentary rock; anoxic conditions and intense pressure cause a gradual transformation in petroleum. Most of the components of oil are small algae and zooplankton, although some larger animals like dinosaurs are also in the mix. This process takes hundreds of thousands of years.Know More
Oil formation requires a combination of several factors. Scientists refer to petroleum as a fossil fuel because it is derived from prehistoric organisms. Plants and animals settle below land and sea along with sand and silt. These remains are gradually covered by sedimentary rock buildup, which creates heat and pressure. These conditions turn anoxic, meaning that there is a lack of dissolved oxygen in the system.
Heat and pressure first turn the organic matter into kerogen, a waxy material. As heat and pressure increase, the kerogen undergoes the process of catagenesis, which transforms the material into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.
In order for oil to form, the mixture must achieve a temperature that geologists refer to as the "oil window." Otherwise, it remains in its kerogen state.
Over time, the oil travels upward through pores in the rock. Some seeps out onto the Earth's surface, but most remains stuck in barriers. Underground traps of oil are called reservoirs. People extract oil from reservoirs through drilling.Learn More
Discovering Fossils states that the conditions necessary for fossil formation include rapid burial, ample sediment accumulation and eventual bedrock uplift. Time is also an important factor because fossils develop over millions of years. According to UK Fossils, most fossil discoveries occur at beaches, mines and quarries.Full Answer >
The Great Barrier Reef formed from a long and slow process involving the accumulation of organic materials, such as stone, plants and animals and shells of dead corals. The Great Barrier Reef started forming approximately 20 million years ago. Dead shells from coral, along with remains from algae, anemones, fish, worms, crustaceans, snails, turtles and snakes accumulated and gave shape to the Great Barrier Reef as well.Full Answer >
Onyx is a type of agate known as chalcedony, formed by intergrowths of silica minerals. The chert form of quartz is also used to make onyx jewelry items.Full Answer >
Visible light is created when electrons that are located inside atoms return to their ground state after being in an excited state, according to the University of Hartford. Light is radiant energy, meaning it is electromagnetic radiation that can be seen with the human eye.Full Answer >