Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

Rocks and the Rock Cycle

In this section we will learn about the rock cycle. Learning the rock cycle and understanding the processes involved helps all of us. Aall rocks are eroded into fine particles. This is how soil forms, through the breakdown of rocks. We need soil to survive—imagine trying to grow vegetables without it. This is an immediate connection to the food chain. The rock cycle also gives scientists and engineers an idea on where energy sources (mainly fossil fuels, which are found only in sedimentary rock) and building materials such as marble or granite may be located. We will see throughout the course how this cycle plays into just about every aspect of geology.

Thumbnail: The rock cycle. Legendary: magma; crystallization (freezing of rock); igneous rocks; erosion; sedimentation; sediments and sedimentary rocks; tectonic burial and metamorphism; metamorphic rocks; melting. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Woudloper/Woodwalker).

Contributors