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Metamorphic Rock

Metamorphic Rock

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Metamorphic rocks are rocks beautifully formed by nature itself from other rocks. When an existing rock undergoes natural changes like weathering, heat and temperature change and high pressure, it gradually changes into a different type of rock. This process of changes by physical conditions is known as metamorphism. Metamorphic rocks are formed from other rock types which are generally igneous, sedimentary or even older metamorphic rocks. However, such rocks from which metamorphic rocks emerge are called protolith.

Metamorphism, as a definition, means a change in form or appearance, this is specifically what happens during the formation of a metamorphic rock. A protolith is exposed by nature profoundly to some extreme conditions such as high temperatures and pressure, and after some time, the rock begin to take a different form both in external and internal appearance. This magnificent transformation can occur either on the sea bed or deep within the earths crust.

Amazingly, the parental rocks from which metamorphic rocks emerge tend to transfer some of their chemical properties to the eventual rocks. The most interesting part of metamorphic formation is that in many cases, though the eventual metamorphic rocks carry some, minute, chemical properties of their protolith they tend to react in a different way.

Most metamorphic rock experience what is known as foliation that is fine layering in their structures, which accounts for, their usage in many works of art. In general, metamorphic rocks are classified into many types, but for ease of understanding it is classified into two main categories, these are classification by texture and by chemical composition. Other classification of metamorphic rocks is a classification by type of metamorphism which includes contact metamorphism and regional metamorphism.

There are several important metamorphic rocks available on earth today some of these are marbles, mica, quartzite and slate and many others.

Additional Resources

Marble Sculpture   Mica   Migmatite

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