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Rocks Study Sheet

(Class 603)

-All rocks start from magma.

-Rocks are a window into the history of Earth and the Solar System.
-A rock is made up of one or more minerals, as well as some substances.
-Some rocks are organic. Of the 2000 known minerals, fewer than 20 are
found in most rocks
-Petrologist: a scientist who studies rocks and minerals.
-Classification is based on where and how rocks are formed. (The 3 types of
-Igneous Rocks: They are originally magma within the Earth. In Latin,
the word
ignis means fire. Igneous rocks are also called plutonic rocks.
freeze at 700-1250 degrees Celsius.
-Sedimentary Rocks: Sediments are bits of rocks, sand, or pebbles.
are formed from the sediments that have been carried along and
deposited by wind and water. Over time, pressure causes the minerals
in the
rocks to become a glue that holds the rocks layers together.
-Metamorphic Rocks: Formed when existing rocks are changed into
kinds of rocks from heat and pressure. Chemical and physical
of metamorphic rocks usually differ from those of an existing rock.
-The Law of Conservation of Matter is matter can neither be created nor
destroyed. It can only be reused.
-The Rock Cycle is the process by which one rock type changes into another
rock type. (Refer to Visual Aid 1)
-Scientists use 2 criterias to further break down the 3 types of rocks into
smaller groups. They are:
-Composition: The minerals that make up a rock.
-Texture: The size, shape, position of the grains that the rock is made
-There are three different ways rocks melt.

-Temperature: Increase in temperature within the crust can melt

rocks and
minerals. Not all rocks and minerals have the same melting/freezing
-Composition: Sometimes, fluids will enter a rock that is close to
melting point
which lowers melting point for magma to form.
-Pressure: High pressure deep within Earth may force minerals to stay
even beyond melting point. When a rock rises towards surface,
decreases and the rock melts.
-A rocks cooling rate of magma determines the size of the crystals in a rock.
Slow-cooling rocks form large crystals, and rapid-cooling rocks form smaller
-Composition (contd):
-Felsic: Lightweight, less dense, light in color, and rich in Si and Al
-Mafic: Denser, darker in color, and rich in Fe and Mg
-Texture (contd):
-glassy: shiny, no crystals
-fine-grained: crystals cannot be seen without magnification
-coarse-grained: crystals are all about the same size and are visible
-porphyritic: crystals scattered on a background of smaller ones.
-Places of Formation
-Intrusive (plutonic): Magma cools beneath earths surface. They are
usually coarse-grained.
-Extrusive (volcanic): Lava cools on earths surface. They cool very
quickly, have few, or no crystals.
(Refer to Visual Aid 2)
-Weathering: Wearing away of rocks caused by wind, water, ice, sunlight, and
-Physical Weathering: Caused by water, wind, and heat (sunlight).
-Chemical Weathering: Caused mostly by acid rain.
-Erosion: When sediments move to another area.
-Deposition: When sediments are left in an area.
-Sedimentary rocks form at/near the surface of Earth. They usually have
layers or stratas. The process of layering is called stratification. Stratas are of
different sizes and thicknesses.

-Sedimentary rocks can record the motion of wind and water in lakes, seas,
rivers, and sand dunes.
-They are the only rocks that contain fossils. These fossils can tell us about
past climates and environments from ripple marks and cross-beds.
-The sediments in a sedimentary rock are held together by a glue formed
by dissolved minerals.
-There are three categories of sedimentary rocks.
-Clastic Rocks: They form from pieces or fragments of other rocks,

-Chemical Rocks: They form from solutions of minerals and water.

evaporates and minerals are left behind.
(Ex. halite, cave formations [stalagmites, stalactites])
-Organic Rocks: They form from the remains of once living creatures.
Fossils are found in organize sedimentary rocks.
(Ex: Coral, which may become limestone)
-Three sedimentary rock structures are cross-beds, ripple marks, and stratas.
(Refer to Visual Aid 3)
-Metamorphic rocks have structures, textures, and compositions that
changed due to heat and pressure.
-Most metamorphism occurs at depths greater than 2 km.
-At a depth of 16 km, pressure can be more than 4000 times the pressure of
the atmosphere.
-The temperature range for metamorphism is 50-1000 degrees Celsius.
-The composition of a metamorphic rocks vary. The crystals change because
of heat and pressure.
-Textures of Metamorphic Rocks-Foliated Metamorphic Rocks- Minerals grains are arranged in rows.
This occurs because of the pressure exerted on the rock.
(Ex. slate, schist, shale)
-Non-Foliated Metamorphic Rocks- Mineral grains are not aligned.
They are
usually composed of one or very few minerals.
(Ex. marble and quartzite)

-Causes of Metamorphism-Contact Metamorphism- As magma moves into the crust, it can

cause the
surrounding rock to cook and form new rocks. This can only happen
an igneous intrusion, which magma has forced its way into a crack in
-Regional Metamorphism- Increased temperature and pressure in
the crust
are caused by moving and consolidating rocks. This most often occurs
underneath continental rock formations.

Visual Aids
(1) The Rock Cycle:

(2) Classification of Igneous Rocks.

(3) Examples of Clastic, Chemical, and Organic Rocks:

(From top to bottom: conglomerate, calcite, coal)