From the beginning of time rocks have been used for everything from cooking to building castles. They are an essential ingredient to a successful society on this planet. This article examines how important rocks are, and why we should not take them for granted.
Rocks are used everywhere on a daily basis, perhaps people don’t even realise. Rocks can be found on construction sites, in houses, under the soil, in mountains and much more.
Rocks are important not only because they are used to build buildings but also because if we didn’t have them we couldn’t know about our planet’s past. Different rocks from under the soil can tell us what Earth was like just by looking at its colour. It can also tell us whether life was possible at that period of time.
Every day rocks help us develop new technologies that are used in cars, cosmetics, roads and appliances.
There are three main types of rocks:
- Granite made of at least three minerals
- Sandstone made of silicon, oxygen and other elements
- Limestone it’s mainly made of calcite or calcium carbonate
Rocks are really hard materials and usually really hard to break, however constant erosion does this process. Here are the main ways in which rocks can be broken down:
- By heating and cooling (rocks expand because of the heat and when they cool down they crack.)
- By freeze-thaw weathering (water in rocks freezes, expands and it then makes rocks crack – eventually the rock falls apart.
- By a reduction in pressure (the rocks underground is under pressure due to the weight of the rock above it. If the rock above it’s eroded the rock under is not under pressure anymore. and so it splits up.)
- By living things (roots can break rocks).
It is a resource central to the succes of our civilisation and planet, and should not be taken lightly.