Conglomerate forms in a very energetic environment, where rocks are eroded and carried downhill so swiftly that they aren't fully broken down into sand. Another name for conglomerate is puddingstone, especially if the large clasts are well rounded and the matrix around them is very fine sand or clay. These specimens could be called puddingstone. A conglomerate with jagged, broken clasts is usually called a breccia
, and one that is poorly sorted and without rounded clasts is called a diamictite
Conglomerate is often much harder and resistant than the sandstones and shales that surround it. Conglomerate is scientifically valuable because the individual stones are samples of the older rocks that were exposed as it was formingimportant clues about the ancient environment.
See more examples of conglomerate in the Conglomerate Gallery and other sedimentary rocks in the Sedimentary Rocks Gallery.
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