Igneous Rocks

“Born of Fire”

• Igneous rocks get their name from the latin word for fire “igneus”. The name is appropriate because these rocks are born of fire. Beneath the thin rocky crust of the earth is the inferno of the mantle! The mantle is the origin of this rock type.

• All Magma is made up of a fairly uniform mixture of elements. Some of the major elements present are silica, iron, sodium, potassium, aluminum, magnesium, and gasses including water vapor, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulfur dioxide. • These elements form chemical combinations that crystallize in patterns to form eight basic rock forming minerals. These eight minerals form most rock. They are olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, orthoclase, plagioclase, muscovite, biotite, and quartz.

The Formation of Igneous Rock
• Igneous rocks are formed from this molten magma. These rocks form when the magma cools and crystallizes. This can happen above ground as with volcanoes it is then called extrusive. • The molten magma can also crystallize below the surface. When the molten rock rises in the crust but cools before it reaches the surface it is plutonic igneous rock and is categorized as intrusive.

Sedimentary Rocks
• Sedimentary rocks are classified in three main groups: clastic, chemical, and organic. • The word Sedimentary comes from the Latin word sedimentum, which means settling. All of the clastic rocks are formed from broken bits and pieces of other existing rocks that settle out of water or air. The broken bits and pieces are called sediments and are caused by weathering

• Chemical sedimentary rocks are not
formed from sediments in the way that clastic sedimentary rocks are. Instead, they are formed from chemicals (elements) dissolved in water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, and ground water all have elemental chemicals dissolved in them.

There are three types of chemical sedimentary rocks
• Evaporites
– Halite or rock salt – Gypsum – travertine

• Carbonates
– limestones – dolostones

• Siliceous rocks
– chert

• Evaporates Evaporites form when bodies of water evaporate leaving behind deposits of one or more chemicals. Those white deposits on your sinks and faucets are the beginnings of this type of rock.

• Another example of evaporate rocks can be found in your kitchen. Most table salt comes from Utah. The Great Salt Lake is the remnant of a vast inland sea that once covered much of the western United States. It is slowly shrinking in size due to evaporation. As the water evaporates the lake can no longer hold the same amount of salt. The salt precipitates out and is deposited as crystallized halite.

• The Carbonates The carbonates are formed by chemical and biochemical processes. Limestones and dolostones are included in this group. They are made up primarily of two minerals, calcite CaCO3 and dolomite CaMg(CO3)2 • Siliceous rocks The siliceous rocks are dominated by silica SiO2. Silica-secreting organisms like diatoms and radiolarians are responsible for the formation of this type of rock

• Organic sedimentary rocks Organic sedimentary rocks are composed of organic matter in the form of plant fragments. We usually think of this group of rocks as coal. • Lignite is black and has a crumbly consistency. • Bituminous coal can be dull to shiny and black.

Metamorphic rocks
• are one of the three types of rock classifications, the other two being igneous and sedimentary. Rocks are classified by the processes under which they were formed. The differences in formation account for variations in the appearance of the rocks and, with some practice, you can learn to recognize the different types by sight.

• Metamorphic Rocks are rocks that have changed form due to heat and pressure. Metamorphic comes from the Greek words meta and morph. Meta means change and morph means form. So we get metamorphic meaning to change form.

• Metamorphic rocks were once sedimentary, igneous or even other metamorphic rocks that have been changed by heat and pressure. • There are two kinds of metamorphism. Contact metamorphism Regional metamorphism

• Contact metamorphism occurs when magma intrudes or forces its way into existing rock. • The heat of the magma bakes the surrounding rocks causing them to change. This is a local event. • The changes due to contact metamorphism are relatively small and are said to be low-grade metamorphism. An example of contact metamorphism is the metamorphic rock marble. Marble is created from limestone that has been subjected to heat

• Regional metamorphism by contrast takes place over large areas and is highgrade metamorphism. Regional metamorphism is associated with mountain building

The Causes or Agents of Metamorphism
• The causes or agents of metamorphism are heat, pressure, and hydrothermal solution. • Heat For metamorphism to occur energy is needed to fuel the chemical reactions. Heat is the primary source of this energy.

• Pressure The pressure within the earth is the result of gravity pulling the crust of the earth downward. Like heat, pressure increases with depth. This pressure can actually squeeze the spaces out of the minerals within the rock. This makes the rocks denser. The heat and pressure together cause the rock to flow instead of break or fracture. The mineral grains become realigned. They flatten out and get longer.

Properties of Minerals
Color • Most minerals have a distinctive color that can be used for identification. In opaque minerals, the color tends to be more consistent, so learning the colors associated with these minerals can be very helpful in identification. Translucent to transparent minerals have a much more varied degree of color due to the presence of trace minerals. Therefore, color alone is not reliable as a single identifying characteristic.

• Streak is the color of the mineral in powdered form. Streak shows the true color of the mineral. In large solid form, trace minerals can change the color appearance of a mineral by reflecting the light in a certain way. Trace minerals have little influence on the reflection of the small powdery particles of the streak. • The streak of metallic minerals tends to appear dark because the small particles of the streak absorb the light hitting them. Non-metallic particles tend to reflect most of the light so they appear lighter in color or almost white. • Because streak is a more accurate illustration of the mineral’s color, streak is a more reliable property of minerals than color for identification.

• Hardness is one of the better properties of minerals to use for identifying a mineral. Hardness is a measure of the mineral’s resistance to scratching. • The Mohs scale is a set of 10 minerals whose hardness is known. The softest mineral, talc, has a Mohs scale rating of one. • Diamond is the hardest mineral and has a rating of ten. Softer minerals can be scratched by harder minerals because the forces that hold the crystals together are weaker and can be broken by the harder mineral.

Moh’s scale of Hardness
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Talc Gypsum Calcite Fluorite Apatite Orthoclase Feldspar Quartz Topaz Corundum Diamond

Cleavage & Fracture
• Cleavage is defined using two sets of criteria. The first set of criteria describes how easily the cleavage is obtained. Cleavage is considered perfect if it is easily obtained and the cleavage planes are easily distinguished. It is considered good if the cleavage is produced with some difficulty but has obvious cleavage planes. Finally it is considered imperfect if cleavage is obtained with difficulty and some of the planes are difficult to distinguish.

Crystalline Structure
• Mineral crystals occur in various shapes and sizes. • The particular shape is determined by the arrangement of the atoms, molecules or ions that make up the crystal and how they are joined. This is called the crystal lattice.

Transparency or Diaphaneity
• Diaphaneity is a mineral’s degree of transparency or ability to allow light to pass through it. The degree of transparency may also depend on the thickness of the mineral.

• Tenacity is the characteristic that describes how the particles of a mineral hold together or resist separation. The chart below gives the list of terms used to describe tenacity and a description of each term.

• Magnetism is the characteristic that allows a mineral to attract or repel other magnetic materials. It can be difficult to determine the differences between the various types of magnetism, but it is worth knowing that there are distinctions made.

• Luster is the property of minerals that indicates how much the surface of a mineral reflects light. The luster of a mineral is affected by the brilliance of the light used to observe the mineral surface.

• Most minerals have no odor unless they are acted upon in one of the following ways: moistened, heated, breathed upon, or rubbed. • Taste Only soluble minerals have a taste, but it is very important that minerals not be placed in the mouth or on the tongue.

Specific Gravity
• Specific Gravity of a mineral is a comparison or ratio of the weight of the mineral to the weight of an equal amount of water. The weight of the equal amount of water is found by finding the difference between the weight of the mineral in air and the weight of the mineral in water

• Weathering All rocks are subject to weathering. Weathering is anything that breaks the rocks into smaller pieces or sediments. This can happen by the forces of wind, rain, or moving and freezing water • Erosion The combination of weathering and movement of the resulting sediments is called erosion

• Compaction occurs after the sediments have been deposited. The weight of the sediments squeezes the particles together. When more and more sediments are deposited on top, the weight on the sediments below increases. Waterborne sediments become so tightly squeezed together that most of the water is pushed out.

• Cementation happens when dissolved minerals fill in the spaces between the sediment particles. These liquid minerals act as glue or cement to bind the sediments together