This first chapter shows rocks on the large scale, how they adorn the earth’s surface in mountains, cliffs, plains and valleys. They look as if they are timeless and everlasting, but they are, in fact, transient, as ephemeral as everything in life. Mountains and valleys come about by action and movement, tectonic uplift and persistent erosion. Today’s mountain chains arose from yester- day’s oceans and plains. Over tens of millions of years these mountains will wear down, to become plains or to be swept over by oceans once again. Earth has always been and will always remain a dynamic system, moving to and fro between creation and destruction, order and chaos.


Tectonic Uplift Rhyolitic Lava Flat Plain Form Protrusion Pilbara Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk J. Wiersam

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