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Introducing Physical Geography (Wse)

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Chapter 11 Earth Materials This chapter deals with the systems and cycles of the solid Earth. This chapter discusses the basic materials of the solid Earth – rock and minerals – and some principals of their formation. These are linked to the cycle of rock change which describes how different rock types develop as Earth materials are cycled and recycled through geologic time. The elements oxygen and silicon account for approximately seventy-five percent of the Earth’s crust , while the metallic elements iron, aluminum, and the base elements account for most of the rest. The elements of the crust are combined in inorganic chemical compounds called minerals . These minerals are combined in various proportions to form many kinds of rock . The rocks of the Earth’s crust are grouped into three major classes : igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Igneous rocks form when molten material from the Earth’s interior cools and solidifies in the crust.
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