You are on page 1of 12

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DEFINITION OF METAMORPHIC ROCKS: ............................................................................................. 2


TYPES OF METAMORPHIC ROCKS: ......................................................................................................... 2
1. FOLIATED METAMORPHIC ROCKS: .......................................................................................... 2
2. NON-FOLIATED METAMORPHIC ROCKS: ............................................................................... 3
METAMORPHISM:.......................................................................................................................................... 3
GRADES OF METAMORPHISM: ................................................................................................................. 4
LOW-GRADE METAMORPHISM: ......................................................................................................... 4
MEDIUM-GRADE METAMORPHISM: ................................................................................................. 5
HIGH-GRADE METAMORPHISM: ........................................................................................................ 5
TYPES OF METAMORPHISM: .................................................................................................................... 5
CONTACT METAMORPHISM: ............................................................................................................... 6
REGIONAL METAMORPHISM: .............................................................................................................. 6
IMPACT OR SHOCK METAMORPHISM:............................................................................................. 8
BURIAL METAMORPHISM: .................................................................................................................... 8
CATACLASTIC METAMORPHISM: ....................................................................................................... 8
PLUTONIC METAMORPHISM: .............................................................................................................. 9
HYDROTHERMAL METAMORPHISM: ............................................................................................... 9
AGENTS OF METAMORPHISM: ................................................................................................................. 9
TEMPERATURE:....................................................................................................................................... 10
PRESSURE: ................................................................................................................................................. 10
FLUIDS:........................................................................................................................................................ 11
STRAIN: ....................................................................................................................................................... 11
TIME PERIOD: ........................................................................................................................................... 11
REFERENCES: ................................................................................................................................................ 12

1|Page
METAMORPHIC ROCKS
DEFINITION OF METAMORPHIC ROCKS:
Metamorphism (a word from Latin and Greek that means literally “changing of form”)
refers to changes to rocks that take place in Earth’s interior. Metamorphic rocks are
derived from igneous or
sedimentary rocks that have altered
their form (recrystallized) as a result
of changes in their physical
environment. Metamorphism
comprises changes both in
mineralogy and in the fabric of the
original rock. In general, these
alterations are brought about either
by the intrusion of hot magma into
cooler surrounding rocks (contact
metamorphism) or by large-scale
tectonic movements of Earth’s
lithospheric plates that alter the Figure 1: The Rock Cycle
pressure-temperature conditions of
the rocks (regional metamorphism. (William S. Fyfe, 2018)
Metamorphic rocks are made by either heating up or squashing the earth's crust. They
are often found in mountainous regions. One example is slate. Slate was originally a black
mud laid down on the bottom of the sea or lake. Fossils can sometimes be found in it but
they are often squashed. Other common metamorphic rocks are called marble, gneiss,
schist. (onegeology)

TYPES OF METAMORPHIC ROCKS:


There are two main types of metamorphic rocks.
➢ Foliated Metamorphic Rocks.
➢ Non-Foliated Metamorphic Rocks.

1. FOLIATED METAMORPHIC ROCKS:


Foliated metamorphic rocks are
formed within the Earth's interior
under extremely high pressures
that are unequal, occurring when
the pressure is greater in one
direction than in the others
(directed pressure). This causes
the minerals in the original rock to
reorient themselves with the long
and flat minerals aligning
Figure 2: Slate is a foliated metamorphic rock that is formed
perpendicular to the greatest through the metamorphism of shale.

2|Page
pressure direction. This reduces the overall pressure on the rock and gives it a stripped
look. Foliated metamorphic rocks are identified on the basis of their texture. Examples
are Slate, Phyllite, Schist etc. (mineralogy4kids).

Figure 3: Phyllite is a foliated metamorphic rock that


is made up mainly of very fine-grained mica. Figure 4: Schist is a metamorphic rock with well-
developed foliation. It often contains significant
amounts of mica which allow the rock to split into thin
pieces.

2. NON-FOLIATED METAMORPHIC ROCKS:


Non-foliated metamorphic rocks are formed around igneous intrusions where the
temperatures are high but the pressures are relatively low and equal in all directions
(confining pressure). The original minerals within the rock recrystallize into larger sizes
and the atoms become more tightly packed together, increasing the density of the rock.
Non-foliated metamorphic rocks are identified on the basis of their composition.
Examples are Marble, Quartzite, Amphibolite etc. (mineralogy4kids)

Figure 6: Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock Figure 5: Quartzite is a non-foliated metamorphic


that is produced from the metamorphism of limestone rock that is produced by the metamorphism of
or dolostone. sandstone. It is composed primarily of quartz.

METAMORPHISM:
Metamorphism can be defined as; “The mineralogical and structural adjustment of solid
rocks to physical and chemical conditions that have been imposed at depths below the
near surface zones of weathering and diagenesis and which differ from conditions under
which the rocks in question originated.” (Nelson, 2018)
The word "Metamorphism" comes from the Greek word “meta means after & morph
means form”, so metamorphism means the after form. In geology this refers to the
changes in mineral assemblage and texture that result from subjecting a rock to

3|Page
conditions such pressures, temperatures, and chemical environments different from
those under which the rock originally formed. (Nelson, 2018)

Figure 7: Process of Metamorphism

GRADES OF METAMORPHISM:
As the temperature and pressure increases on a body of rock we say the rock undergoes
prograde metamorphism or that the grade of metamorphism increases. Metamorphic
grade is a general term for describing the relative temperature and pressure conditions
under which metamorphic rocks form. (Nelson, 2018)

Figure 8: Grades of Metamorphism

LOW-GRADE METAMORPHISM:
Low-grade metamorphism takes place at temperatures between about 200 to 320oC, and
relatively low pressure. Low grade metamorphic rocks are generally characterized by an
abundance of hydrous minerals. With increasing grade of metamorphism, the hydrous
minerals begin to react with other minerals and/or break down to less hydrous minerals.
(Nelson, 2018)

4|Page
MEDIUM-GRADE METAMORPHISM:
The temperature range for this grade is 400 to 580 degrees, pressure plays important
role in determining the stability of various minerals formed in this range. Important
minerals associated with this grade are Staurolite and Cordierite. (geologyuniverse,
2018)

HIGH-GRADE METAMORPHISM:
High-grade metamorphism takes place at temperatures greater than 320oC and relatively
high pressure. As grade of metamorphism increases, hydrous minerals become less
hydrous, by losing H2O, and non-hydrous minerals become more common. (Nelson,
2018)

Figure 9: Metamorphic Grades

TYPES OF METAMORPHISM:

Figure 10: Types of Metamorphism

5|Page
CONTACT METAMORPHISM:
Contact metamorphism occurs adjacent to igneous intrusions and results from high
temperatures associated with the igneous intrusion. (Nelson, 2018)
Such metamorphism occurs during volcanic
activity when the physical properties of the
surround-ing rocks are changed due to
intense heat of the rising magmas of dykes.
Sometimes, the rocks coming in contact with
the intruding magmas are also changed in
their chemical composition due to some
water and water vapor associated with the
intruding magmas. Lime-stones are changed
to marbles due to contact metamorphism.
(geographynote)
Aureole: An aureole is the zone surrounding
an intrusion, which is a mass of igneous rock
that solidified between other rocks located
Figure 11: Contact Metamorphism
within the Earth.

REGIONAL METAMORPHISM:
Regional metamorphism occurs over large areas and generally does not show any
relationship to igneous bodies. Most regional metamorphism is accompanied by
deformation under non-hydrostatic or differential stress conditions. Thus, regional
metamorphism usually results in forming metamorphic rocks that are strongly foliated,
such as slates, schists, and gneisses. The differential stress usually results from tectonic
forces that produce compressional stresses in the rocks, such as when two continental
masses collide. Thus, regionally metamorphosed rocks occur in the cores of fold/thrust
mountain belts or in eroded mountain ranges. Compressive stresses result in folding of
rock and thickening of the crust, which tends to push rocks to deeper levels where they
are subjected to higher temperatures and pressures. (Nelson, 2018)

Figure 12: Regional Metamorphism

6|Page
Regional metamorphism is further divided into two sub-types,
I. Dynamic regional metamorphism, when the rocks are metamorphosed due to
compressive forces and resultant high pressure caused by convergent horizontal
movements. (geographynote)

Figure 13: Dynamic Regional Metamorphism

II. Static regional metamorphism, when the rocks are metamorphosed at greater
depth due to intense pressure and weight of overlying rocks (superincumbent
load). (geographynote)

Figure 14: Static Regional Metamorphism

7|Page
IMPACT OR SHOCK METAMORPHISM:
When an extraterrestrial body, such as a meteorite or comet impacts with the Earth or if
there is a very large volcanic explosion, ultrahigh pressures can be generated in the
impacted rock. These ultrahigh pressures can produce minerals that are only stable at
very high pressure, such as the SiO2 polymorphs coesite and stishovite. In addition they
can produce textures known as shock lamellae in mineral grains, and such textures as
shatter cones in the impacted rock. (Nelson, 2018)

Figure 15: Shock Metamorphism

BURIAL METAMORPHISM:
Burial metamorphism occurs in association with very thick accumulations of
sedimentary strata in a subsiding basin. Here low-grade metamorphic conditions may be
attained within the lowest layers. Confining pressure and geothermal heat drive the
recrystallization of the constituent minerals to change the texture and/or mineralogy of
the rock without appreciable deformation. (yourarticlelibrary)

CATACLASTIC METAMORPHISM:
Cataclastic metamorphism occurs as a
result of mechanical deformation, like
when two bodies of rock slide past one
another along a fault zone. Heat is
generated by the friction of sliding along
such a shear zone, and the rocks tend to
be mechanically deformed, being crushed
and pulverized, due to the shearing.
Cataclastic metamorphism is not very
common and is restricted to a narrow
zone along which the shearing occurred.
(Nelson, 2018)
Figure 16: Sample of Cataclastic Metamorphism

8|Page
PLUTONIC METAMORPHISM:
This type of metamorphism is believed to occur at very great depths within the crust
under conditions of very high pressure and very high temperature. The pressure
prevailing is like hydrostatic pressure. i.e. the pressure intensity is the same in all the
directions. (yourarticlelibrary)
An extreme example of plutonic metamorphism is the rock migmatite. In part these rocks
have the banded or layered appearance of gneiss and yet in other parts of the outcrop,
the constituent minerals will have the non-oriented, random, scattered pattern so typical
of granite. (yourarticlelibrary)

HYDROTHERMAL METAMORPHISM:
Rocks that are altered at high temperatures and moderate pressures by hydrothermal
fluids are hydrothermally metamorphosed. This is common in basaltic rocks that
generally lack hydrous minerals. The hydrothermal metamorphism results in alteration
to such Mg-Fe rich hydrous minerals as talc, chlorite, serpentine, actinolite, tremolite,
zeolites, and clay minerals. Rich ore deposits are often formed as a result of hydrothermal
metamorphism. (Nelson, 2018)

Figure 17: Hydrothermal metamorphism

AGENTS OF METAMORPHISM:
The main agents that control the metamorphism processes are following.
➢ Temperature.
➢ Pressure.
➢ Fluid.
➢ Strain.
➢ Time Period.

9|Page
TEMPERATURE:
The temperature that the rock is
subjected to is a key variable in
controlling the type of
metamorphism that takes place.
As we learned in the context of
igneous rocks, mineral stability is
a function of temperature,
pressure, and the presence of
fluids (especially water). All
minerals are stable over a
specific range of temperatures.
For example, quartz is stable
from environmental
temperatures (whatever the
weather can throw at it) all the Figure 18: Temperature of Metamorphism
way up to about 1800°C. If the
pressure is higher, that upper limit will be higher. If there is water present, it will be
lower. On the other hand, most clay minerals are only stable up to about 150° or 200°C;
above that, they transform into micas. Most other common minerals have upper limits
between 150°C and 1000°C. (Earle, 2015)

PRESSURE:
Pressure is important in
metamorphic processes
for two main reasons.
First, it has implications
for mineral stability.
Second, it has
implications for the
texture of metamorphic
rocks. Rocks that are
subjected to very high Figure 19: Different Types of Pressure.
confining pressures are
typically denser than others because the mineral grains are squeezed together, and
because they may contain mineral polymorphs in which the atoms are more closely
packed. Because of plate tectonics, pressures within the crust are typically not applied
equally in all directions. In areas of plate convergence, the pressure in one direction
(perpendicular to the direction of convergence) is typically greater than in the other
directions. In situations where different blocks of the crust are being pushed in different
directions, the rocks will be subjected to sheer stress. (Earle, 2015)
The pressure can be further divided into.
➢ Confining pressure where the pressure is essentially equal in all directions.
➢ Directed pressure where the pressure form the sides is greater than that from
the top.

10 | P a g e
➢ Sheer stress caused by different blocks of rock being pushed in different
directions. (Earle, 2015)

FLUIDS:
Water is the main fluid present within rocks of the crust, and the only one that we’ll
consider here. The presence of water is important for two main reasons. First, water
facilitates the transfer of ions between minerals and within minerals, and therefore
increases the rates at which metamorphic reactions take place. So, while the water
doesn’t necessarily change the outcome of a metamorphic process, it speeds the process
up so metamorphism might take place over a shorter time period, or metamorphic
processes that might not otherwise have had time to be completed are completed. (Earle,
2015)

STRAIN:
Strain refers to any change in the shape of rocks due to the force of stress. Movement on
a fault zone is one example. In shallow rocks, shear forces simply grind and crush the
mineral grains. (Bowne, 2012)

TIME PERIOD:
Most metamorphic reactions take place at very slow rates. For example, the growth of
new minerals within a rock during metamorphism has been estimated to be about 1 mm
per million years. For this reason, it is very difficult to study metamorphic processes in a
lab. (Earle, 2015)
While the rate of metamorphism is slow, the tectonic processes that lead to
metamorphism are also very slow, so in most cases, the chance for metamorphic
reactions to be completed is high. For example, one important metamorphic setting is
many kilometres deep within the roots of mountain ranges. A mountain range takes tens
of millions of years to form, and tens of millions of years more to be eroded to the extent
that we can see the rocks that were metamorphosed deep beneath it. (Earle, 2015)

11 | P a g e
REFERENCES:
➢ Bowne, J. (2012, April 1). johnbowne. Retrieved from
https://www.johnbowne.org/ourpages/auto/2012/4/1/43788090/The%20Fo
ur%20Agents%20of%20Regional%20Metamorphism.pdf
➢ Earle, S. (2015). PHYSICAL GEOLOGY. In G. I. Steven Earle, Physical Geology.
➢ geographynote. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.geographynotes.com/rocks/metamorphism/top-4-types-of-
metamorphism-rocks-geography/2234
➢ geologyuniverse. (2018, july 3). Retrieved from
https://geologyuniverse.com/metamorphic-grade-zones-and-facies/
➢ mineralogy4kids. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://mineralogy4kids.org/rock-
cycle/foliated-metamorphic-rocks
➢ mineralogy4kids. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://mineralogy4kids.org/rock-
cycle/nonfoliated-metamorphic-rocks
➢ Nelson, P. S. (2018, April 12). tulane. Retrieved from
https://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/eens212/typesmetamorph.htm
➢ onegeology. (n.d.). Retrieved from onegeology:
http://www.onegeology.org/extra/kids/metamorphic.html
➢ William S. Fyfe, J. S. (2018, August 6). britannica. Retrieved from
https://www.britannica.com/science/metamorphic-rock
➢ yourarticlelibrary. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/geology/rocks/top-6-types-of-
metamorphism-geology/91385

12 | P a g e