The materials that make up Earth are each products of complex cycles and interactions, as a study of sediment and sedimentation shows. Sediment is unconsolidated material deposited at or near Earth's surface from a number of sources, most notably preexisting rock. There are three kinds of sediment: chemical, organic, and rock, or clastic sediment. Weathering removes this material from its source, while erosion and mass wasting push it along to a place where it is deposited. After deposition, the material may become a permanent part of its environment, or it may continue to undergo a series of cycles in which it experiences ongoing transformation.

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