Facts About the Rock Cycle

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The rock cycle describes the process by which changes occur in the three types of rocks. It was developed by 18th-century Scottish farmer and naturalist James Hutton, according to Visionlearning.com.


The rock cycle describes how the three major types of rock--metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary--can change into one another through various geologic processes, according to Learner.org. This occurs through such happenings as cooling, erosion, weathering and melting.

Metamorphic rock

Metamorphic rock can become igneous rock by melting into magma and then cooling, according to Learner.org. It can become sedimentary rock by eroding into sediment and then compacting and cementing into its new form.

Sedimentary rock

Sedimentary rock can become metamorphic rock through heat and pressure, according to Learner.org.

Igneous rock

Igneous rock can become sedimentary rock by eroding into sediment and then compacting and cementing, according to Learner.org.

James Hutton

Often called the founder of modern geology, James Hutton developed the rock cycle as part of his far-reaching ideas on the planet's formation and change, according to his biography from the American Museum of Natural History.


About the Author

Alex Howard, based in New England, has been a professional writer and editor for nearly a decade. He holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and history, and has been published in newspapers in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

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