Earth, Our Environment - Class Notes
Chapter 1, The Changing Planet - 06
An Earth System
The Hydrologic Cycle and the "Rock Cycle" interact in the break-down and creation of rocks.
The Effects of climate on rocks are two-fold:
- Weathering is the disintegration of rocks into small fragments.
- Erosion is the transport of the those fragments, primarily in rivers and streams. Eventually these rock fragments are deposited and later compacted and cemented together to form sedimentary rocks.
Without plate tectonics, the effects of weather would be to wear down the continents to a uniform elevation, near sea-level. Fortunately, we can enjoy the beauty resulting from the competition between hydrologic and plate-tectonic cycles.
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