Rocks can be classified as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary based on the method of formation. The natural cycling of rocks includes the formation of new sediment though erosion and weathering and of new rock through heat and compaction of the sediment.
Earth’s dynamic systems are made up of the solid earth (geosphere), the oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers and ice sheets (hydrosphere), the atmosphere, and organisms (biosphere). Interactions among these spheres have resulted in ongoing changes to the system. Some of these changes can be measured on a human time scale, but others occur so slowly, that they must be inferred from geological evidence.
Earth’s systems can be broken down into individual components which have observable measurable properties.