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Igneous Rocks: Igneous rocks form from molten rock (magma) crystallizing below earth's

surface or from volcanic activity. They commonly form at plate

boundaries and are commonly exposed in mountainous areas.
Igneous rocks form from crystallization of magma at depth (within
the earth's crust) or at the surface (from volcanic eruptions)

There are two (2) basic types or forms of igneous rocks:1- Plutonic rocks = intrusive igneous rocks = igneous rocks
that form from cooling magma at depth.
2- Extrusive igneous rocks = igneous rocks that form from
volcanic activity (at or near surface).

In general:
Plutonic rocks are usually coarse-grained
Extrusive rocks are usually fine-grained

These samples represent

igneous rocks which have
formed at depth within the
Earth, although each exhibit
different textures.

What are textures?

The texture of a rock is how it appears on the surface and how minerals
are connected together.
Igneous rock textures depend on cooling history

Igneous Rocks may have one of two (2) types of textures:

Intrusive textures:
Fine-grained texture (Aphanitic) --due to fast cooling (at or near surface)
Coarse-grained texture (Phaneritic) --due to slow cooling at depth.
Porphyritic texture Porphyritic texture -- coarse crystals (phenocrysts)
surrounded by fine-grained matrix (groundmass); forms due to initial slow
cooling, then magma rising to (or close to) surface and the remaining magma
cooling quickly.

Extrusive textures: Glassy texture -- due to very rapid cooling --magma cools so fast crystals don't
have time to form. Obsidian (volcanic glass) forms this way.
Vesicular texture -- full of rounded holes (vesicles) --forms due to escape of
gas bubbles during cooling of lava. Pumice is a light-colored rock with this
vesicular texture.
Pyroclastic texture -chunks of molten material that fuse together

Igneous Rock Textures







Magma composition

The composition of the magma determines the

composition of the rock that forms .
Igneous rock classification scheme shows that rocks
vary in silica content (e.g. quartz-rich rocks have higher
silica content)
Other darker rocks: gabbros and basalts are low in
silica, with bulk compositions less than about 60% silica
Granites and rhyolites are high in silica (bulk
compositions with higher than 60% silica)

What are igneous intrusions?

Igneous intrusions are rock bodies that form from crystallization of magma at
depth within earth's crust. They are categorized based on their shape and overall
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes:

Discordant : cut across pre-existing fabric of rock layers:Dikes are small igneous intrusions that cut across rocks into which the magma
intrudes. They are commonly sheet-like, only a few meters wide, but possibly laterally
extensive. Think of magma invading a vertical or near-vertical fracture in rock.
Igneous rock would fill the crack due to crystallization of magma. One would call the
rock body a dike.
Stocks are fairly large (10s of miles) igneous intrusions that cut across pre-existing
rock layers. In size, they are on the order of an individual mountain peak.
Batholiths are huge igneous intrusions made of many stocks. Their size is on the
scale of an entire mountain range (100s of miles).

Sills are also small igneous intrusions. They are sheets of rock that, unlike
dikes, are parallelto pre-existing rocks. Think of magma invading
sedimentary rocks by spreading out between rock layers. That magma
would cool to form a sill.
Laccoliths are rather large, mushroom-shaped intrusions that puff up in
the center due to gases.



An Igneous Intrusion as Viewed from Satellite