Metamorphic Rocks: Definition and Process of Formation Page all – The term “metamorphosis” is generally used to refer to the process of change of insects.

However, the term “metamorphosis” is a broad term that denotes a change from one thing to another.

Even rocks, which seem constant, can turn into new types of rock.

For example, a type of rock whose physical and chemical properties can change under the influence of strong pressure is called metamorphic rock.

Reported from National Geographic, In the rock cycle, there are three types of rock, namely sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.

Also read: Expert Reveals Basalt Rocks Played a Role in Early Life

Sedimentary rocks and igneous rocks start from a substance other than rock. Sedimentary rocks are originally sediments that solidified under high pressure, whereas igneous rocks form when molten magma or lava cools and solidifies.

Meanwhile, metamorphic rocks begin as rocks, either sedimentary, igneous, or even different types of metamorphic rocks.

Metamorphic rock formation process

As a result of various conditions in the Earth, existing rocks are converted into new types of metamorphic rock.

It takes very specific conditions to form metamorphic rocks.

Existing rock must be exposed to high heat, high pressure, or hot mineral-rich fluids.

Also read: NASA’s Mars rover Robot Now Able to Target Rocks with a Laser

These conditions are most often found deep within the Earth’s crust or at plate boundaries, where tectonic plates collide.

In order to form metamorphic rock, it is very important that the existing rock remains solid and does not melt.

If there is too much heat or pressure, the rock will melt and become magma.

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In turn, this will result in the formation of igneous rock, not metamorphic rock.

For example, granite is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools relatively slowly underground.

Also read: Lithosphere, the Earth’s Uppermost Layer and Formed from Rock

It usually consists of the minerals quartz, feldspar, and mica. When granite is subjected to intense heat and pressure, it turns into a metamorphic rock called gneiss.

Although metamorphic rocks usually form deep within the Earth’s crust, metamorphic rocks are also frequently exposed at the Earth’s surface.

It is caused by geological uplift and erosion of the overlying rock and soil.

At the Earth’s surface, metamorphic rocks will be exposed to weathering processes and can decompose into sediments.

This sediment can then be compressed to form sedimentary rock, which will start a whole new cycle.

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