geological cycle


the series of events in which a rock of one type is converted to one or more other types and then back to the original typeAlso called: rock cycle



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Cultural definitions for geological cycle

geological cycle

The continuous process in which hot, molten material coming to the surface of the Earth from the interior forms igneous rocks, which are then broken down by weathering to create soil and sedimentary rocks. These sedimentary rocks can be lifted up by the motion associated with plate tectonics, in which case they are again weathered and washed down to the sea. Alternatively, they can be buried deep within the Earth, changed into metamorphic rocks, and brought to the surface of the Earth, or buried so deeply that they are melted and become part of the magma from which igneous rocks are formed.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.