Definitions for "Rock cycle"
Largest and slowest of the earth's cycles, consisting of geologic, physical, and chemical processes that form and modify rocks and soil in the earth's crust over millions of years.
The set of geologic processes by which each of the three great groups of rocks is produced from the other two: sedimentary rocks are metamorphosed to metamorphic rocks or melted to create igneous rocks, and all rocks may be uplifted and eroded to make sediments, which lithify to sedimentary rocks.
All rock at or near Earth's surface is being modified by the processes of metamorphism, melting, crystallization, lithification and weathering. These processes move rock material through the states of metamorphic rock, igneous rock, sedimentary rock, melts and sediment. The natural and continuous cycling of rock materials through these states is known as the rock cycle.
The succession of events that results in the transformation of Earth materials from one rock type to another, then another, and so on.