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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Earth structure  >  Earth's crust  >  Rock types
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Pseudofossils: concretions and dendrites

This is an information sheet providing an introduction to different varieties of rocks and minerals that might be mistaken for fossils. It is also available as a two-page pdf file for download.

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Earth's rocks

Discover the main rock types and how they are formed. Find out about the rock cycle and how the Earth is constantly re-forming rocks. Find out what you can learn about the history of a rock from looking at its crystal composition and patterns.

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How metamorphic rocks are formed

Imagine the forces required to change one type of rock into another type. Listen to presenter, Bernie Hobbs, explain the forces that transform sedimentary rocks to metamorphic rocks. She visits the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to demonstrate how limestone can be transformed into its matching ...

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Bombo metal quarries, Kiama, 1884-1917

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, taken from a full-plate glass negative that has been broken in half. It was produced by the studio of Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney and shows three quarry workers and a horse harnessed to a two-wheeled wagon in a basalt quarry One man stands ...

Teacher resource

Rock your world: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide that contains an overview a unit of work on the three main rock types: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. It contains resources to assist planning and implementing a study of the different types of rocks; their composition and characteristics; how they form; and the rock cycle. Interactive and ...

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Rock Your World: student guide

This is a student guide that takes an in-depth look at sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks including rock composition and characteristics, how they form, the rock cycle, landforms and the geological changes over time. This resource contains different parts or chapters, each with information, images and diagrams, ...

Interactive Resource

Rock your World: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials for exploring all aspects of rocks including types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic), landforms and shaping of the Earth, composition and minerals they contain, and the cycling of rocks. This resource contains a rich array of digital interactive ...

Interactive resource

The secret of Itsall Mine

Enter a mineshaft to explore rock layers and fossils. Use geological tools and instruments to find a lost fossil. Gather, analyse and date rock samples. Get passwords by solving geological puzzles.

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Graptolite fossils - item 5

This is a colour photograph of a graptolite fossilised in rock. This species is 'Clonograptus persistens'.

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Graptolite fossils - item 3

This is a colour photograph of graptolites fossilised in rock. There is a specimen of 'Sigmagraptus crinitus' (the branching shape, centre) with 'Phyllograptus' or 'Pseudophyllograptus' (the leaf-like shapes). The figures visible on the rock are cataloguing numbers.

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Graptolite fossils - item 2

This is a colour photograph of graptolites fossilised in rock. These are specimens of 'Climacograptus bicornis'. The figures visible on the rock are cataloguing numbers.

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Australites

This is an information sheet on australites, a dark, glassy type of tektite. 

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Rock layers under Parliament House, Canberra

Imagine if Australia's Parliament House was built on an ocean! Watch this clip to find out about the rock layers of Canberra's Capital Hill, some of which contain ancient rocks that formed deep on the ocean floor. Dr Paul Willis from Catalyst takes you on a brief tour of what he calls the 'fractured foundations' on which ...

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A career as a geologist

Do all scientists wear white lab coats and work with chemicals? Watch this clip and discover how a career in science can take you soaring to dizzying heights. Find out what an exploration geologist does and why helicopters are used in the job. This clip will inspire you to consider a career in one of the many varied fields ...

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'Cooking' carbon to make crude oil

Visit the rugged Arabian mountains to see the exposed remains of the bottom of the ancient Tethys ocean, the prehistoric algal soup that gave rise to today's massive oil fields of the Middle East. Hear how oil-source rock laid down in the Jurassic Period changed over millennia as the Earth's surface was re-shaped. Under ...

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Below Earth's crust

Imagine tunnelling deep, deep below the Earth's surface. What do you think you would find thousands of kilometres down? Watch this clip to find out what is inside the Earth, what it's made up of and how hot it is. Find out about earthquakes, volcanoes, and geysers, and how they help us to understand about the composition ...

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Fossils and the evolution of life

Have you ever wondered how scientists know when the early mammals appeared on Earth, or how long ago dinosaurs died out? Watch this clip to discover the role of fossils, and the rocks they are found in, in revealing the order and history of life on Earth. This clip takes you to fossil sites in Queensland; and to Shark Bay ...

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Fossils and the Earth's past

Imagine what the world looked like hundreds of millions of years ago. Watch this clip to discover how fossils are preserved and what they tell us about the Earth's past. Find out about trilobites, an intriguing, ancient creature that lived in the sea during the Cambrian period. Their fossils are a piece of the past helping ...

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How old is our Earth?

Have you ever thought about how old planet Earth is? Watch this clip to discover the age of the Earth, and the fast and slow changes that have been happening since its beginning. Find out about English scientist Charles Lyell and how his observations shaped our understanding of the Earth's geology today. The enormous scale ...

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Formation of ancient rock layers

Discover how our understanding of rocks has developed over time and the role played by mining. The way rocks are formed, and what they are composed of, tells us a lot about what has occurred on Earth in the past. Watch this clip to find out about the formation of ancient rock layers, and what we find inside very old rocks.