Science Snapshop: Metamorphic Rocks

Anybody who is anybody gets invited to the rock party. But once you have attended the rock party, you know that there are really only three types of people who attend the rock party. First you have the sedimentary people who are rough, rigid, and not afraid to tell you about the storms they have weathered (and they will probably use some expletives while they’re at it). Next you have the igneous people who are bold, beautiful, and generally the life of the party with their gaudy crystal jewelry and their lightweight pumice handbags. Finally you have the metamorphic people. These people are quiet at first, they keep all their heat and pressure inside of them rather then flaunting it like the igneous and even the sedimentary people do. But once you get to know the metamorphic people, you will find that the heat and pressure they have been enduring has made them delicate, refined, and beautiful. Once you dig even deeper past their crystal banded personalities, you will be shocked to discover they were just like the igneous and sedimentary people until they went through big life changes.

Metamorphic rocks, similar to the metamorphic people in the story above, have gone through tremendous amounts of heat and pressure to transform into a beautifully banded rock. Its name, metamorphic, refers to the change that it goes through. An igneous rock like granite; with its big crystals of quartz, feldspar, and mica, transforms under heat and pressure to form metamorphic rocks like Gneiss. But how does Gneiss differ from Granite? It’s all in the bands. Gneiss still has mineral crystals like Granite, but Gneiss’s crystals have formed distinct lines and ripples known as “bands” due to the heat, pressure, and stress it was under deep inside the Earth.

Ever been to a party like the one above? Ok, well maybe not. But I think you would agree with me that there are distinct personality types similar to the rock types! I personally relate to the metamorphic rocks the most. I have had my rough past similar to sedimentary rocks. I have also had my bold, boisterous past like the igneous rocks. But I would like to think that I have learned from both pasts and have transformed into a new, more beautiful, me.

*Click on the images above for a description of the difference between igneous rock appearance and metamorphic rock appearance.

Liked learning a little bit about igneous rocks? Stay tuned for my long read blog post at the end of the month outlining all types of rocks!

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