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14: Earth Materials and Structure

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    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Diagram a cross section of the Earth's interior and describe each layer.
    • Diagram the rock cycle
    • Define what a mineral is and describe the major mineral families that make up most rocks.
    • Describe the origin and characteristics of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks.
    • Create a diagram of intrusive igneous rock bodies.
    • Compare and contrast the orders of relief.

    Physical geographers recognize that to uncover the spatial relationships of earth surface phenomena they must have a good understanding of what the Earth is composed of and how it affects landscape development. Here we will review the fundamental building blocks of Earth, how they change through time, and what effects they have on Earth surface processes and form.

    Thumbnail: Columnar Basalt Flows. Titon Valley, Yakima County, Washington (Courtesy USGS)

    This page titled 14: Earth Materials and Structure is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Michael E. Ritter (The Physical Environment) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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