The Earth's surface has been subjected to many changes and phenomena recognized as geological processes. Cliff erosion, a volcanic eruption, or sedimentation at a mouth the a river are examples of this geological processes. The geological agents responsible because that these procedures are: waves, the internal warmth of the Earth, or rivers.

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Geological agents and also processes are classified as internal and also external.

Internal geological agents and also processes are driveby the warmth that is stored in the Earth's interior. They normally occur much from the surface. The main internal geological agent is the motion of the lithospheric plates. The most evident and also catastrophic events caused by this activity are Earthquakes and also volcanic eruptions. Others are the activity of the continents, the opened of new seas and also the close up door of old ones, or the formation of mountain ranges.

It can be stated that internal geological processes develop the Earth's relief.

External geological agents and also processes affect the Earth's surface. They space powered by solar energy. Exterior processes shape the relief produced by inner processes. Exterior agents carry out this process: water, ice, wind, atmosphere and human beings. They incorporate all the changes that alter or wear under the rocks and deposit products resulting indigenous erosion.

Internal agents and processes have tendency to lift and build the Earth's relief native the interior. External agents and also processes often tend to destroy and also shape the Earth's relief.

Although procedures such together volcanic eruptions and earthquakes impact the Earth's surface, they plainly originate in the Earth's interior. Therefore, they are internal processes.

2.1. The engine the internal and also external geology processes


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Both internal and external geology agents require a resource of energy to drive them so that processes deserve to take place.

2.1.1. The Earth's inner heat


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The internal warmth stored in the planet is responsible because that our earth being geologically active. The beginning of this heat originates from two sources: most of it has been stored because the beginning of the Earth's development resulting from the collision the the planetesimals. The rest is created by the fragmentation of radioactive elements.

This internal warmth generates convection currents in the mantle, i m sorry behaves like very thick liquid. Once the materials in the interior heat up, lock expand, become less dense and also rise. As they cool, lock descend and also continue the cycle.


Geothermal gradient is defined as the rise of temperature v depth. It is among the most evident indications that the Earth's inner heat.

The mean gradient on the continents is 30º C per km, return the worths are higher in energetic volcanic areas and lower in old cratons.

2.1.2. Solar energy


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External agents that form the relief are propelled by solar power that come at the Earth's surface. This energy creates differences in temperature in air masses, bring about winds. It likewise powers the water cycle together it patent the evaporation of big quantities of water indigenous the oceans that fall on the continents in the type of rain or snow.

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2.1.3. Gravity


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Gravity likewise has an important role in both external and internal geology processes. It contributes to the formation of convection currents in the Earth's interior, in i m sorry cold, dense materials sink and also are replaced by hotter and lighter materials that rise. On the surface, gravity reasons water and also ice accumulated on the continent to move towards the sea, forming rivers and glaciers i m sorry erode and shape rocks follow me their courses. In addition, gravitational traction is responsible for one of the activities of the sea: the tides.