*Poorly sorted means that the sediment contains a variety of different sizes of rock materials. River systems tend to sort rock materials according to size by typically depositing larger pieces (gravels) first in valleys, sand-sized pieces next near shorelines, and finally smaller silts and clays in deeper water environments. In contrast, glaciers simply drop whatever pieces they contain where the ice melts – no matter the size. This unsorted rock material is referred to as till.
Below: This pile of erratics is where the tillite shown above was found. Erratics are rocks that have been transported from another area by glaciers. Most of these are metamorphic rocks that came from the Hudson Bay area of Canada. A farmer placed them in this pile just west of Three Buttes (in backgroud), which is located in north-central Montana.
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