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This is an exothermic process (it loses heat) and involves a phase change from the liquid to the solid state. The earth is made of igneous rock - at least at the surface where our planet is exposed to the coldness of space. Igneous rocks are given names based upon two things: composition (what they are made of) and texture (how big the crystals are). Glassy texture 1. obsidian Obsidian is volcanic glass without gas bubbles. It is usually black or dark brown in color and breaks with a conchoidal (shell-like) fracture. Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges. A variety of obsidian with white to light gray crystallized patches surrounded by black glass is known as snowflake obsidian. 2. pumice Pumice is volcanic glass filled with gas bubble holes (vesicles). It may be thought of as a glass foam. Because of the large number of holes, pumice is very light-weight; it will float on water. Pumice comes in many colors, but the most common color is gray. fine-grained (aphanitic texture) 3. rhyolite Rhyolite is a high-silica, fine-grained rock. You cannot see the mineral grains with the naked eye. Its colors are gray, light brown, tan, pale yellow, pink, and other earth-colors. Sometimes there may be a sprinkling of small crystals, but most of the rock is fine-grained. Using food terms, it resembles baloney (unidentifiable components). Rhyolite has the same chemical and mineral content as granite. 4. andesite Andesite is the name of fine-grained igneous rocks that are midway in color and mineral composition between rhyolite and basalt. Andesites are commonly gray or some shade of medium brown. Commonly they have a porphyritic texture; there are larger visible crystals surrounded by the gray or brown andesite. 5. basalt Basalt is a fine-grained igneous rock rich in iron that gives it a black to brown color. Fluid lava flows, such as those in Hawaii, produce basalt. If basalt has a large number of gas bubble holes it is called vesicular basalt or scoria. Basalt that has been exposed to air and water for a long time may oxidize to a red color. coarse-grained (phaneritic) texture 6. granite Granite is a coarse-grained igneous rock often with a pink to reddish color. A large portion of the granite is made of small crystals of orthoclase feldspar which give the rock the pink or reddish color. Other minerals present are quartz (usually gray). albite feldspar (white) and either white mica (muscovite) or black mica (biotite). The word granite means grain-rock; it it weathers, it crumbles into loose grains.
These bits of calcium can pile up on the seafloor and accumulate into a thick enough layer to form an "organic" sedimentary rock. the igneous rocks which make up the majority of the crust are covered by a thin veneer of loose sediment. such as tourmaline and beryl are found in pegmatites. mixed grain sizes (large and small) 9. Depending upon the amount of iron rich minerals present. Clastic sedimentary rocks are accumulations of clasts: little pieces of broken up rock which have piled up and been "lithified" by compaction and cementation. The groundmass can be rhyolite. andesite. The phenocrysts are often feldspar crystals or hornblende crystals. It has the same mineral content as basalt. It can sometimes be described as a "white granite" because of the abundance of albite. or basalt and even. coarse-grained igneous rock. because they are often the result of the accumulation of small pieces broken off of pre-existing rocks. and the rock which is made as layers of this debris get compacted and cemented together. pegmatite Pegmatite is very coarsely crystallized. Chemical: many of these form when standing water evaporates. but the grains in gabbro are visible to the naked eye. Sedimentary rocks are called secondary. porphyry The term porphyry simply refers to the two distinctly different grain sizes present in an igneous rock. leaving dissolved minerals behind. very large grain size (larger than 1/2 inch) 10. Clastic (Fragmental) Sedimentary Rocks 1. Some of the largest crystals in the world have been found in pegmatites. a white feldspar. There are three main types of sedimentary rocks: Clastic: your basic sedimentary rock. Pegmatites often have the same mineral composition of granites with large crystals of mica and feldspar. granite. gabbro Gabbro is a dark. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS In most places on the surface. Organic: any accumulation of sedimentary debris caused by organic processes. Gem minerals. Diorite has the same mineral content as andesite.7. and teeth. 8. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts and the finer crystals are the groundmass. Thick deposits of salt and gypsum can form due to repeated flooding and evaporation over long periods of time. where seasonal "playa lakes" occur in closed depressions. bones. rarely. Many animals use calcium for shells. diorite Diorite is a coarse-grained igneous rock intermediate in composition between granite and gabbro. conglomerate Conglomerate is made of rounded or semi-rounded rock fragments cemented . diorite can range from nearly white to quite dark. These are very common in arid lands.
shale has the tendency to split in fairly flat fragments. Sandstones can be white. pink. breccia Breccia consists of angular rock fragments cemented together. red or gray. siltstone Siltstone is made of silt-sized particles. Shales are often a good source of fossils. depending upon the presence of organic materials and iron oxides. A fresh broken surface of sandstone has a gritty feel. brown. However. Generally. gray. similar to conglomerate. It is a difficult rock to identify because it closely resembles a fine-grained sandstone or a coarse shale. Limestone varies from light gray or brown to dark gray or brown. quartz grains are referred to as mature sandstones or quartz sandstones. often making it visually difficult to identify. shale Shale is made of clay-sized particles or clay minerals that have compressed by the weight of overlying rocks. Fragments within a conglomerate are pea-sized and larger. brown. Breccias can be any color. The angular shape implies that the fragments have not moved far from their source. 4. Siltstones occur in a wide range of colors. Light-colored sandstones consisting mainly of rounded. since limestone is made of the mineral calcite (CaCO3). finer than sand grains. this property is known as fissility. red. Sandstones that contain angular grains of several different minerals are referred to as immature sandstones or graywackes. or black. Shales represent the accumulation of clay at the bottom of oceans or lakes. but the surface of siltstone has a slightly feel to it. Shales can be many colors. Fragments are pea-sized and larger. Common forms of limestone include: coquina limestone made of broken shell fragments fossiliferrous limestone rich in fossils lithographic limestone very fine-grained and dense chalk fine-grained porous encrinal limestone made of crinoid fragments travertine deposited by surface waters (noted for its holes) . The rounding of the fragments implies that the fragments were transported a substantial distance from their source and were abraded in contact with other moving fragments. such as black. Commonly. breccias are found along fault zones. An older name for conglomerate is "pudding stone".together. Chemical Sedimentary Rocks 6. limestone There are dozens of forms that limestone can take. 2. Then general way of describing it is that you cannot see the individual grains. gray. 5. but coarser than clay. sandstone Sandstone consists of sand grains that have been cemented together. You should be able to distinguish the sand grains with the naked eye. The rounded fragments were probably deposited along a stream channel or a shoreline. Sandstones can range from coarse-grained to fine-grained. it will bubble freely when strong hydrochloric acid is applied to it. well-sorted. Sandstones containing feldspar grains are arkoses. 3.
Salt is water soluble. Coal is less dense than normal rocks. or bright yellowish brown. Bituminous coal is black. it fizzes (produces bubbles) at a much slower rate than limestone (calcite). 10. reddish brown. but it is generally not recommended to lick strange rocks. Flint also tends to chip with conchoidal fractures better than chert. Gypsum is baked at high temperatures to drive water out of its chemical structure and then ground to a fine powder to produce plaster of Paris. Typically. hardened tree sap. inner amber can only be exposed by chipping off a corner of the stone or grinding of the surface. Amber is famous for preserving . Salt can easily be identified by its salty taste. coal Coal represents the accumulation of decomposed plant materials. 8. Jasper is chert that is colored red. 12. Anthracite is hard. followed by lignite. but it might also be lightly colored by the inclusion of iron oxide or clay. amber Amber is ancient. Lignite is called soft. Amber ranges from a creamy yellow to ransparent yellow or red to a dark brown. Peat has the lowest level of carbon content and anthracite has the highest. It is commonly found as nodules embedded in limestone which project out of the limestone as the limestone is slowly dissolved by rainwater. your first impression is that it is much lighter in weight than a typical stone. The clear.7. When hydrochloric acid is applied to dolomite. chert Chert is chemically deposited cryptocrystalline quartz. gypsum Gypsum is the name of both the mineral and rock. you can still see an abundance of the original organic materials. salt is white or colorless. it is called flint. usually a dull gray or brown in color. When you first pick it up. There is a good reason for this similarity. it is this property that allows flint to be made into arrowheads. Gypsum is softer than your fingernail and can be scratched or bruised easily. and finally anthracite. Dolomite originally started out as limestone but was chemically altered at a later time by the replacement of some of its calcium by magnesium. Biological Sedimentary Rocks 11. and somewhat waxy-looking. It can also be identified by the cubical cleavage of halite (salt). brown coal. black coal. Coal is sorted by the degree of alteration and compaction of the original organic materials. then bituminous coal. although there have been attempts to separate the two by calling the rock gypstone. producing a melted-looking surface when it is washed off with water. In peat. If the chert has a waxy luster rather than a dull surface. dolomite Dolomite looks almost exactly like calcite. The least altered material is peat. salt Salt is the mineral halite (NaCl) that was deposited by the evaporation of a body of salt water. 9. It is a natural plastic and it is light-weight. Unworked amber has a dull surface marked by a myriad of minute fractures. Gypsum is usually white or a pale reddish-brown when stained by iron oxide. It does not taste like salt and it does not fizz when hydrochloric acid is applied to it.
METAMORPHIC ROCKS The metamorphics get their name from "meta" (change) and "morph" (form). The minerals in gneiss may occur either as layers (foliation) or elongated in one direction (lineation). Any rock can become a metamorphic rock. phyllite Phyllite is metamorphosed slate. Non-Foliated Metamorphic Rocks 5. In the process of being metamorphosed.trapped insects for millions of years. marble Marble is metamorphosed limestone. chlorite. All that is required is for the rock to be moved into an environment in which the minerals which make up the rock become unstable and out of equilibrium with the new environmental conditions. but it can also be red colored. schist. Marble can range from white to pink to brown. It is a highly metamorphosed that is almost a granite. it still bubbles vigorously when strong hydrochloric acid is applied to it. since marble is calcite. Limestones that have broken by tectonic forces as they are being metamorphosed . the limestone is recrystallized. it has been utilized as floor tiles. gneiss. Phyllite also has a slightly silky appearance due to the growth of tiny mica plates oriented parallel to the foliation. or sillimanite. 2. but unlike slate. the layers are not completely flat but have a slightly undulating pattern. Slate is tougher than shale and it breaks into thin. creating a change in color and texture and the destruction of included fossils. However. Foliated (Layered) Metamorphic Rocks 1. The metamorphic changes in the minerals always move in a direction designed to restore equilibrium. schist Schist is metamorphosed phyllite. In most cases. and even black. The gray streaks in typical marble are made up of graphite. kyanite. There are hundreds of recognized commercial marble with a wide range of colors and patterns. gneiss Gneiss is metamorphosed schist. producing a bumpy surface. flat layers. Schists might also be made of talc. Common metamorphic rocks include slate. pyrophyllite.It is still foliated (layered). It differs from schist due to the lenses of feldspar between the mica layers. 4. Slate is usually dark gray. 3. The mica crystals in schists are larger than those in phyllites and so schists tend to distinctly sparkle. Slate has been used in some countries as roofing and more recently. slate Slate is metamorphosed shale. this involves burial which leads to a rise in temperature and pressure. Mica schists often also contain garnet crystals or staurolite crystals. and marble. Intensely crumpled layers are another means of identifying gneiss.
Serpentine varies from a light green to a dark green color with veins and fractures. grain size.htm .htm http://skywalker.uoregon.edu/wellerr/GLG101/GLG101-igneous-rocks. serpentine The name serpentine is used for both a mineral and a metamorphic rock. The sand grains in quartzite are so tightly cemented together than when a rock of quartzite is broken in half. quartzite Quartzite is metamorphosed sandstone.cochise.produce brecciated marbles. Cut and polished marble is used for statues and flooring. It is used for flooring and tabletops. hornfels Hornfels is a non-foliated.edu/wellerr/GLG101/GLG101-metamorphic-rocks. and mineral composition shows wide variation.html http://skywalker. Colors can range from a light gray to a dark black. The darkest colored varieties of hornfels may have have originally been dark shales.edu/~mstrick/AskGeoMan/geoQuerry13. References: http://jersey.cochise. the break actually cuts the individual sand grains. or even basalt.cochise. It strongly resembles some varieties of jade. 7.htm http://skywalker. 6. It is often difficult to distinguish it from a sandstone that has been cemented by quartz. 8.edu/wellerr/GLG101/GLG101-sedimentary-rocks. It is formed by the metamorphic transformation of olivine and pyroxene to the serpentine mineral group. siltstones. The color. baked rock that is formed by contact metamorphism.
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