Meaning of Rock Cycle

What is the Rock Cycle:

The rock cycle or lithological cycle refers to the description of the geological processes that rocks go through to transform themselves into one of these three types of rock: igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic.

This cycle indicates the geological time it takes for the rocks to transform, and this is because the rocks are forced to change because they are linked to other cycles, such as the water cycle or the movements of tectonic plates.

It should be noted that rocks are solid materials composed of minerals and that most of the Earth is composed of them, for this reason it is considered that rocks have an important role in the balance of nature.

See also Geology.

Development of the rock cycle

The rock cycle is of utmost importance because it has to do directly with the internal and external processes through which the rocks and materials that make up the Earth pass.

Igneous or magmatic rocks

The development of the rock cycle begins when volcanoes expel magma outside the Earth, which contains a series of molten minerals that, when cooled, generate crystalline structures and together form igneous rocks.

On the other hand, igneous rocks can also form below the soil surface in cases where magma cannot escape. In this case, the magma cools slowly, the rock forms and together with the movements of the earth's layers it goes up until you reach the surface.

Therefore, igneous rocks can be formed in two ways, both on the surface and in the inner layers of the soil.

Then, depending on where the igneous rocks are located and after the effects of erosion, water and wind, these rocks wear down and fragment until they form fine rocky sediments.

Among these rocks are volcanic rocks and plutonic rocks.

Sedimentary rocks

Sedimentary rocks are formed from the sum of the remains of rocky sediments that remain on the soil surface of igneous rocks, due to erosion and other effects of nature, plus the remains of living beings accumulated in the layers of the Earth through time.

These rocks are of utmost importance, especially for various scientific studies since, being composed of fossil remains, they provide important information about life on Earth and its composition.

Sedimentary rocks include dendritic rocks, chemical rocks, and organic rocks.

See also Sedimentation and Fossil.

Metamorphic rocks

Metamorphic rocks are derived from sedimentary rocks.

They are formed when sedimentary rocks are deposited in the layers of the earth's crust, along with the rest of other rocks, either by the action of water, if they are found in rivers or seas, by the movements of tectonic plates, among others. .

When these rocks are between the various layers of earth, a change in their structures occurs thanks to high pressure and high temperatures. In this way the sedimentary rocks are transformed into metamorphic rocks.

These rocks can be found after extensive soil erosion. Otherwise, being under several layers of earth, at high temperatures and pressure, they break down and then be expelled, again, after the explosion of a volcano as igneous rocks, repeating the cycle.

Some types of metamorphic rocks are foliated and non-foliated rocks.

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