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Skarn is a distinct rock containing calcium silicates from any time line. The word skarn originally means waste rocks; they are often referred to as tactite. In basic terms, skarns are odd looking rocks that appear alongside the ores. The word skarn can refer to many varieties of rocks, but all of them contain the same formation process and also have unique and distinct characteristics.

Skarns are formed during contact metamorphism of certain rocks. The process of formation occurs when certain rocks, such as sedimentary, experience metamorphism. This is by coming into contact with magmatic bodies. At the point of contact, fluids of magmatic, metamorphic and marine origin mix  together to dissolve calcium carbonate rocks which are further converted into the metamorphic rock (skarn) by a process known as mesomatism. The resulting rock is rich in minerals these minerals are determined by the original composition of the combining materials.

Skarns are divided into two categories; endoskarns and exoskarns and oskarns occur internally within the rock that produces them such as S- granites. Endoskarns is rarer in nature than exoskarns because of the equilibrium between fluid created by granite and minerals. Skarns are identified by their mineralogy; the mineral content of a skarn can go a long way in determining its origin and its properties. The majority of skarn minerals are rock forming, except for those which have less availability.

Skarn can be associated with ores of metal, in this context skarns are known as skarn deposits. Skarn minerals are easily identified with the aid of a microprobe. Skarn are the source of many prominent minerals most notably silica, pyroxene, serpentine e.t.c, therefore, the study and in-depth understanding of skarn is particularly beneficial to industries like; construction, agricultural, cosmetics etc.

Additional Resources

Silicon Dioxide   Slate   Slates - Uses Of

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