Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated Science Library 2009 02 – Rocks and Minerals

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Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated
Science Library 2009 02 – Rocks and Minerals
Edition 2009
pages 56

توضیحات

Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated
Science Library 2009 02 – Rocks and Minerals

,Rocks, like airplane flight recorders
store in their interior very useful information about what has happened in the past.
Whether forming caves in the middle of mountains, mixed among folds, or lying
at the bottom of lakes and oceans, stones are everywhere, and they hold clues to
the past. By studying rocks, we can reconstruct the history of the Earth. Even the
most insignificant rocks can tell stories about other times, because rocks have been
around since the beginning of the universe. They were part of the cloud of dust and
gases that revolved around the Sun over four billion years ago. Rocks have been
silent witnesses to the cataclysms our planet has experienced. They know the
cold of the glacial era, the intense heat of the Earth’s interior, and the fury of the
,oceans. They store much information about how external agents, such as wind
rain, ice, and temperature changes, have been altering the planet’s surface for
millions of years. For ancient civilizations, stones symbolized eternity. This idea has
persisted throughout time because stones endure, but they are recycled time
and again. Fifty million years from now, nothing will be as we now know it not
.the Andes, nor the Himalayas, nor the ice of Antarctica, nor the Sahara Desert
Weathering and erosion, though slow, will never stop. This should free us from any
illusion of the immortality of the Earth’s features. What will everything be like in
the future? We don’t know. The only sure thing is that there will be rocks. Only
stones will remain, and their chemical composition, shape, and texture will
provide clues about previous geological events and about what the Earth’s surface
was like in the past. In the pages of this book, illustrated with stunning images, you
will find invaluable information about the language of rocks and natural forces in
general. You will also learn to identify the most important minerals, know their
.physical and chemical properties, and discover the environments in which they form