Difference between Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks

Nov 30, 2011 by

Difference between Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks

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  1. daniel

    There are many forms of rocks including metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous rocks. The best method of differentiating these two key kinds of rocks is through looking at their textures and also how they are naturally formed.

    1. Formation

    An igneous rock is formed after hot magma cools down to become solid. Magma is essentially the molten substance that erupts from a volcano. Since it cools down gradually, mineralization takes place. In contrast, sedimentary rock formation occurs when the Earth’s crust sediments and this generally takes place inside a water body. The crust is exposed constantly to weathering and erosion. The resultant loose particles then form the sedimentary rocks. However, metamorphic rocks use a unique formation process since they are essentially the outcome of other rocks transforming. Rocks that have been subjected to lots of pressure and heat alter their form and shape through metamorphism to become new metamorphic rocks.

    2. Texture

    Igneous rocks have a distinct texture that can be called vitreous or glassy. Some of the main examples of these rocks include basalt, diorite and granite. The sedimentary rocks also have a unique texture that is based on the fragments or parts of the main original rock. Furthermore, sedimentary rocks have several uses in the construction industry for making houses and roads and many others. The most prevalent form of sedimentary rock is known as conglomerate, which contains small pebbles. Other kinds include limestone, shale and sandstone. In contrast, metamorphic rocks may be identified with their slaty textures. Rocks that are placed in the metamorphic rock class include gneiss and quartzite as marble.

    All these classes of rocks act like great mineral sources because of their makeup. They make an interesting subject and geologists continue to study the properties of these rocks. This is because they may provide more insight concerning the pressures and temperatures beneath the earth.

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