Physical Geology lecture outline - Rock cycle, a closed or open system.

The traditional conception of the rock cycle.

Two important metaphors - Time's cycle and Times Arrow.

Discussed by Stephen J. Gould, 1987, Time's Arrow Time's Cycle, Harvard University Press.

Is the standard depiction of the rock cycle that of a cycle or an arrow, and is it an open or closed system?

Significance of the metaphors.

What can be added to create a more powerful depiction of the rock cycle/system?

Above is my depiction of an open rock cycle. Reservoirs are depicted as yellow boxes, and the processes by which material transfers from one reservoir to another are given in purple. Believe it or not this diagram involves substantial simplification. Trace some paths through it to understand the connections better. What does such a diagram suggest about the nature of the earth's geologic history?


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