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p. 555. Earth surface geologylocked

  • Jan Zalasiewicz


‘Earth surface geology’ considers the particular conditions created by the water cycle governing the distinctive surface geology of Earth. It looks at the efficiency of the rock cycle: the breakdown of ‘primary’ igneous rocks into sediments, which are buried and lithified to produce sedimentary rock, which in turn becomes metamorphosed as heat and pressure increase, finally ending in melting and magma production. It also looks at the ways that geological time has been subdivided using biostratigraphy (the tracking of species’ evolution through fossils) and tracing chemical changes in the rocks. Earth’s evolution has included regular and gradual influences, with episodes of sudden massive change from more or less random events.

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