Geochemical Cycle

436 words | 2 page(s)

The geochemical cycle involves the path through which mass and energy shift of chemical elements follow with the crust and surface of the earth. As the name states, geochemical cycle involves the geological elements and chemical elements. The earth consists of more than 92 natural elements, whose atoms have been in existence since the formation of the earth. Therefore, the geochemical cycle expresses the flow of this elements through the reservoirs of the earth. The full processes of the geochemical cycle is shown in Figure 1.

In Figure 1, each box represents a reservoir. The reservoir contains a given mass of the chemical element. The arrows represent the exchange of mass between two reservoirs and therefore the exchange of energy between the two involved chemical elements. The dashed line encompasses those chemical elements found in the earth surface. There is a constant communication between the deep earth and earth’s surface through the volcanic activities as energy is released from deep earth due to gravitational accretion and radioactive decay. The subduction of the tectonic plates also aid in the deep earth-surface communication.

puzzles puzzles
Your 20% discount here.

Use your promo and get a custom paper on
"Geochemical Cycle".

Order Now
Promocode: custom20

The earth surface has 5 reservoirs which include the atmosphere (containing nitrogen, carbon and oxygen), the biosphere (containing animals and plant life), the hydrosphere (water bodies), the lithosphere (earth’s crust/rocks) and the soils. Between the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, gaseous exchanges such as the carbon cycle or hydrogen cycle takes place. Between the atmosphere and the biosphere, energy exchange is through decay of both animal and plant life as well as photosynthesis of the plant life. Between the biosphere and soils, energy exchange occurs when animals and plants decay in the soil as well as assimilation of the soil to the plant life. The biosphere and the hydrosphere similarly share an energy exchange following the decay of animals and plants into the water as well as the assimilation of water for human and plant life growth.

Energy transfer between the biosphere and the lithosphere occurs once the animals and plant life are buried in the earth over a long period of time (fossils). Erosion of the earth’s crust forms the main energy transfer between the lithosphere and hydrosphere. Some runoff soil gets into the water transferring energy from the soils to the hydrosphere. Finally, some gasses such as hydrogen and helium escape to the outer space transferring energy from the atmosphere to the outer space. Incoming meteorites also play a significant role of transferring energy from the outer space to the earth’s atmosphere or surface.

  • “Chapter 6: Geochemical Cycles”. Acmg.Seas.Harvard.Edu, 2010, http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap6.html.

puzzles puzzles
Attract Only the Top Grades

Have a team of vetted experts take you to the top, with professionally written papers in every area of study.

Order Now