A Continuous Rock Cycle And Volcanic Activity Essay

A Continuous Rock Cycle And Volcanic Activity Essay

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As internal processes, mountain building and volcanic activity, elevate Earth’s surfaces, external processes, weathering and erosion, breakdown and move Earth’s surfaces down slope. It’s a continuous rock cycle, and water movement contributes greatly to Earth’s external weathering and erosion processes, sculpting earth’s surfaces throughout the course. As water evaporates from the ocean and precipitates over the mountains, river systems are established; and in their many shapes and forms, move eroded rock material from the surface towards the ocean, further disintegrating material along the way. River systems move Earth’s surface materials, while shaping its landscapes.

Weathering and erosion are part of Earth’s rock cycle. Earth’s internal pressures force material up towards the surface, and once rock material is exposed, it is subject to Earth’s external forces powered by the sun and gravity. The external processes of weathering and erosion moves material downslope, where it is again subject to Earth’s internal forces; it is a continuous rock cycle. Weathering is the mechanical, chemical, or organic breakdown of rock material, and is a “natural response of Earth’s materials to a new environment” (Lutgens, Tarbuck, & Tasa, 2014, p.56). As weathering breaks down exposed material, gravity forces the material downward, and material is transported by erosional agents: water, wind, or ice. As Earth’s surface material is broken down and transported, its landscape is ever changing. For instance, canyon walls widen as its materials breakdown and move towards the river system for removal and further breakdown.

River systems are part of Earth’s hydrologic cycle, where water is constantly moving. As the sun causes ocean water ev...


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...s it deposits material on the insides of its bends. Furthermore, this type of eroding and depositing activity causes formation of oxbow lakes, where the corners of meandering curves that are closest to each other erode away creating new channels (National Geographic, 2015, para.3-4). The Mississippi River shapes Earth’s landscapes indeed.

As internal processes elevate Earth’s surfaces, weathering and erosion breakdown and move Earth’s surfaces down slope, where it is again subject to internal forces; it is a continuous rock cycle. Water movement contributes greatly to Earth’s external weathering and erosion processes, sculpting earth’s surfaces in its route back to the ocean. River systems, in their many shapes and forms, collect, sort, and deposit eroded rock material from the surface, further disintegrating material along the way; sculpting Earth’s landscapes.

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