The Rock Cycle

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The Rock Cycle

Igneous Rock

Metamorphic Rock


What is Magma?Magma is the molten material beneath the earth’s crust from which igneous rock is formed. Magma is made of a hot liquid called melt, minerals that are crystallized by the melt, solid rocks, and dissolved gases. Magma is extremely hot. Its temperature is between from 12,292 and 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit. Magma comes from the lower part of Earth’s crust and the upper portion of the mantle. Differences in temperature, pressure, and structural formations in the mantle and crust cause magma to form in different ways. Some of these ways are Decompression Melting, Transfer of Heat, and Flux Melting. In addition, there are different types of magma. The first is Mafic Magma. This type of magma has low silica content, higher contents of iron and magnesium and low viscosity. Another type of magma is Intermediate Magma, which has a higher silica content and higher gas content and viscosity. The last type of magma is Felsic Magma, which has the highest content of magma, high gas content and viscosity.

Sedimentary Rock

What is a Sedimentary Rock?Sedimentary rocks are formed when mud and sand are deposited in layers on Earth’s surface, with the oldest layers on the bottom and the youngest on the top. The layers can be deposited in oceans, rivers and deserts. These layers of sand and mud are buried and then compressed by the weight of the overlying layers to form rocks. Sedimentary rocks can also be formed by the evaporation of water. In addition, you can find fossils in sedimentary rocks. This happens when sediments covered dead plants and animals. As the sediments turn to rock the remains or outlines of these organisms were preserved. Some examples of sedimentary rocks are coal, rock salt, and limestones.




What is an Igneous Rock?Igneous rocks are formed by the crystallization and hardening of molten material that originates deep in Earth. Scientists have classified igneous rocks in two groups.The first group are Extrusive Igneous Rocks. These rocks are formed when magma flows to Earth’s surface along fissures and volcanic vents. Then, it forms broad flat sheets, or it can build up a volcanic shape by repeatedly erupting from a vent. Some types of lavas cool quickly, which causes the formation of rocks composed of mainly of microscopic crystals. The second group are Intrusive Igneous Rocks. These rocks can be found in mines and tunnels. The formation of intrusive rocks varies from thin sheets to huge irregular masses. In addition, this type of igneous rocks have large crystals because the magma cools more slowly. Two types of igneous rocks are basalt and granite. Basalt is an extrusive rock while granite is an intrusive rock.

What is a Metamorphic Rock?Metamorphic rocks are rocks that form from igneous and sedimentary rocks. They have been modified by heat, pressure and chemical processes. The exposure to these extreme conditions alters the texture and chemical composition of the rock. There are two basic types of metamorphic rocks. The first one is foliated metamorphic rocks. They have a layered appearance that is produced by the exposure to heat and direct pressure. Some types of foliated metamorphic rocks are gneiss, phyllite and slate. The other kind is non-foliated metamorphic rocks. This type doesn’t have a layered appearance. Some types of non-foliated metamorphic rocks are hornfels, marble, and


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