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Types of Rocks

| Blog | December 4, 2012

Types of Rocks

Rocks come in many different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.
The three Types of Rocks found on Earth are Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary.
Types of Rocks
 

Igneous

Igneous rocks are formed from the solidification of molten rock material. There are two types of Igneous rocks:
1) Intrusive igneous rocks such as diorite, gabbro, granite and pegmatite that solidify below Earth’s surface.
2) Extrusive igneous rocks such as andesite, basalt, obsidian, pumice, rhyolite and scoria that solidify on or above Earth’s surface.
Granite, shown below, is an example of Igneous rock.
Types of Rocks
 

Sedimentary

Sedimentary rocks are formed by the accumulation of sediments. There are three basic types of sedimentary rocks:
1) clastic sedimentary rocks such as breccia, conglomerate, sandstone and shale, that are formed from mechanical weathering debris.
2) chemical sedimentary rocks such as rock salt and some limestones, that form when dissolved materials precipitate from solution.
3) organic sedimentary rocks such as coal and some limestones which form from the accumulation of plant or animal debris.
Limestone, shown below, is an example of Sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary Rock
 

Metamorphic

Metamorphic rocks have been modified by heat, pressure and chemical process usually while buried deep below Earth’s surface. Exposure to these extreme conditions has altered the mineralogy, texture and chemical composition of the rocks. There are two basic types of metamorphic rocks:
1) Foliated metamorphic rocks such as gneiss, phyllite, schist and slate which have a layered or banded appearance that is produced by exposure to heat and directed pressure.
2) Non-foliated metamorphic rocks such as marble and quartzite which do not have a layered or banded appearance.
Marble, shown below, is an example of Metamorphic rock.
Metaphorphic Rock

Photos courtesy of geology.com. Types of Rocks.

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