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The Rock Cycle

Rocks are the most common material on Earth. They are naturally occurring aggregates of one or more minerals.

Rock divisions occur in three major families based on how they formed: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Each group contains a collection of rock types that differ from each other on the basis of the size, shape, and arrangement of mineral grains.

The rock cycle is an illustration that is used to explain how the three rock types are related to each other and how Earth processes change a rock from one type to another through geologic time. Plate tectonic movement is responsible for the recycling of rock materials and is the driving force of the rock cycle.