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Metamorphic Rocks

Section 4 of Rocks

Christopher Landry

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of Metamorphic Rocks

Inside Earth: Rocks
- Metamorphic Rocks -

Every metamorphic rock is a rock that has changed its form.
In fact, the word 'metamorphic' comes from the Greek words meta, meaning “change”, and morphos, meaning “form”.
Heat and pressure deep beneath Earth's surface can change any rock into metamorphic rock.
When rock changes into metamorphic rock, its appearance, texture, crystal structure, and mineral content change.
Metamorphic rock can form out of igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rock.
Collisions between Earth's plates can push rocks down toward the heat of the mantle. Magma rising through the crust can also provide heat to produce metamorphic rocks.
Rock buried deep in the crust is under pressure hundreds or thousands of time greater than at Earth's surface and that pressure can change rock into metamorphic rock.
Types of
Metamorphic Rocks

When metamorphic rock is forming, high temperatures can change the size and shape of grains in the rock.
Tremendous pressure can also squeeze rock so tightly that the mineral grains may line up in flat, parallel layers.
Geologists classify metamorphic rocks according to the arrangement of the grains that make up the rocks.
Foliated Rocks
Metamorphic rocks that have their grains arranged in parallel layers or bands are said to be
The term foliated comes from the Latin word for 'leaf'. It describes the thin, flat layering found in most metamorphic rocks.
Foliated rocks – including slate, schist, and gneiss – may split apart along these bands.
One common foliated rock is slate, which is basically a denser, more compact version of shale.
During the change, new minerals such as mica form in the slate.
Another example of a foliated rock is gneiss which formed when granite was heated and pressurized.
Nonfoliated Rocks
Some metamorphic rocks are nonfoliated. The mineral grains in these rocks are arranged randomly.
Nonfoliated metamorphic rocks – including marble and quartzite – do not split into layers.
Quartzite forms out of sandstone. The weakly cemented quartz particles in the sandstone recrystallize to form quartzite, which is extremely hard.
Under what conditions do metamorphic rocks form?
How do geologists classify metamorphic rocks?
Uses of
Metamorphic Rocks

Certain metamorphic rocks are important materials for building and sculpture. Marble and slate are two of the most useful metamorphic rocks.
Marble can be cut into thin slabs, and it can be polished so that its surface is smooth and mirror-like. These qualities have led architects and sculptors to use marble for many buildings and statues.
For example, one of America's most famous sculptures is in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Like marble, slate comes in a variety of colors, including gray, black, red, and purple.
Slate, because it is foliated, splits easily into flat pieces that can be used for flooring, roofing, outdoor walkways, or chalkboards.
How are metamorphic rocks used?
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