Geological cycle

  • Created by: luigi64
  • Created on: 09-03-20 19:43
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  • Carbon and the Geological cycle
    • Stores
      • Lithosphere - Earth's crust as fossil fuels + calcium carbonate (pure carbon in graphite/diamonds)
      • Atmosphere - CO2 and other gaseous compounds containing carbon (i.e CH4)
      • Biosphere - Living + dead orgamisms
      • Hydrosphere - Dissolved CO2
    • Fluxes
      • Main fluxes are between ocean - atmosphere (78.4PgC/yr)  & land - atmosphere (photosynthesis + respiration; 123PgC/yr + 118.7PgC/yr respectively)
    • Formation of geological carbon stores
      • Sedimentary rocks
        • Sediment is deposited in layers in a low-energy environment. Further layers are deposited and sediment undergoes diagenesis
          • The lower layers become compressed and chemical reactions cement particles together
            • The conversion of loose, unconsolidated sediment into solid rock is known as lithification.
      • Limestone
        • Shale + coal etc.
          • Remains of animals and plants sank to bottom of rivers, lakes and seas and subsequently covered by silt and mud
            • The remains continued to decay anaerobically + were compressed by further accumulations of dead organisms and sediment.
        • Oceanic limestone
    • Processes that release carbon
      • Chemical weathering
        • CO2 combines with water vapour to form carbonic acids. This reacts with surface minerals + dissolves them forming new material such as calcium carbonate
      • Volcanic outgassing
        • Happens at hot-spots / divergent plate boundaries.  pockets of carbon dioxide exist in the Earth's crust. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can release these gas pockets.
        • The release of trapped/ dissolved gas due to heat + pressure changes


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