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This highly simplified Flash animation displays some of the most common rock-forming processes. Embedded animations include crystallization of magma to form igneous rock, rock erosion to create sediment, transportation of sediment, deposition of sediment to create sedimentary rock, and creation of a metamorphic rock in a subduction zone. The neat feature of this animation is that each step in the sequence above is linked to other animations in the Exploring Earth collection, providing a fairly in depth exposure to the processes involved in the rock cycle. Caution students against the oversimplified linear pattern of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock formation. In reality, there are many interconnections in the cycle with, for example, sedimentary rocks being eroded and becoming transformed to a different sedimentary rock type without being metamorphosed or, as another example, igneous rocks never being reduced to sediment, and instead directly evolving to metamorphic rocks. The animation can be paused and rewound to stress important points.
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