The Geologic Cycle

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Environmental issues associated with the Geologic Cycle
The Geological cycle refers to a series of intertwined processes that are important for the formation and break down of physical Earth features. The processes that make up the Geological cycle are the tectonic cycle, the rock cycle, the hydrologic cycle and the biogeochemical cycle. There are a number of different environmental issues that are associated with the geological cycle. Most of these issues are naturally occurring and cannot be prevented.
The Tectonic Cycle
The tectonic cycle is a cycle that involves the movement of the Earth’s lithosphere. The word lithosphere refers to the Earth’s crust as well as the part of the upper mantle that is closest to the surface of the Earth. The
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Extrusive lava flows occur when volcanoes erupt and this can happen in a number of different ways. Lava can flow in sheets (sheet flow) if the lava erupts from fissures. The most disruptive lava flows come from volcanic eruptions. The structure of volcanoes differs and depends on the types of lava that is extruded. The environmental issues associated with volcanoes would also depend on the type of volcano that is erupting. Some volcanoes erupt explosively due to high amounts of silica in the magma. These eruptions throw volcanic rocks into the air, like missiles. Volcanoes also throw out dust clouds of fine volcanic ash. This ash is a problem because it covers the landscape in thick ash. The rate of flow lava during an eruption depends on the viscosity of the lava. Lavas containing more silica tend to flow more slowly and erupt more explosively. Volcanic eruptions result in the relocation of animals and people. It also results in loss of life and both major and minor injuries. Another problem associated with volcanic eruptions is the fumes that are released into the atmosphere. Most volcanoes release gases such as water vapour, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide but there are instances when volcanoes release more toxic vapours. These gases are hazardous for people and animals that are downwind of the volcanic eruption. Volcanic eruptions have the ability of changing the climate. Volcanic ash and smoke are…show more content…
The rock cycle is closely linked to the tectonic cycle because the tectonic cycle produces one of the three types of rocks from the rock cycle: igneous rocks. The other two rock types are sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. The rock cycle refers to the processes in which rock material is created and weathered down over time (Open Learn, 2008). New rock material is created by igneous activities such as volcanic eruptions and intrusions. Over time, igneous rock is weathered down by a variety of actions such as chemical, physical and biological weathering. The weathered rock forms sediment and can eventually be lithified to form sedimentary rocks. Alternatively, when introduced to different temperature and pressure conditions, igneous and sedimentary rocks may form the third type of rocks: metamorphic rocks. There are a number of environmental issues that may come about due to processes within the rock cycle (NYU, 2015). Examples of environmental issues that occur as a result of weathering are the various forms of mass wasting. Some of the types of mass wasting are mudflows, landslides, rockfalls and submarine mass movements (Marshak,

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