Metamorphic Rocks For Kids
Rocks are made up of one or more minerals. Although different rocks can contain the same minerals, they are sorted into different types of rocks depending on how they were formed.
Metamorphic Rock Examples
Examples of metamorphic rocks are marble and slate. There are many more with some really weird names like anthracite, quartzite, granulite, gneiss and schist.
What Are Some Other Types of Rocks?
There are three types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and of course metamorphic rocks.
How are Metamorphic Rocks Formed?
This type of rock is formed under extreme pressure and heat over quite a long time.
Metamorphic rocks are called this name as they always start out as another rock. Metamorphic is a word that literally means to change from one thing to another. There you go…now you know!
When slate forms, some of the clay from the original rock is replaced by a mineral called mica.
During the stage of changing – which is called contact metamorphism – broken down pieces of rock near the Earth’s surface are changed by magma.
During regional metamorphism, another stage of changing, rocks buried deep down in the Earth are changed by magma chambers.
Even though the rock gets really, really hot and is under a whole heap of pressure, it doesn’t melt. Wow, that’s one strong rock.
If it did melt, that would mean that either igneous or sedimentary rocks would form.
Interesting Metamorphic Rock Facts
There are rocks called foliated rocks. This is a type of rock with parallel bands of grain. Wow, that sure is weird.
Then there are non-foliated rocks. This is a type of metamorphic rock that has no bands of grain.
Now this is quite amazing. Do you know marble? Well, it’s a type of metamorphic rock that is made from limestone! Wow.
Schist is a type of metamorphic rock that comes from slate, which is another type of metamorphic rock.
Slate, a metamorphic rock, can form from shale, clay, or mudstone.
The Taj Mahal in India is made entirely of different types of marble, a metamorphic rock. That’s really cool.
Marble is quite durable, but it can be dissolved by lemon juice and other acids. No throwing these things at the Taj Mahal, then!
Did you know that most of the Earth’s crust is made of metamorphic rock? Well, it’s true!
Words You Need to Know
Igneous Rocks – these are formed through the cooling and then solidifying (becoming solid) of magma or lava.
Sedimentary Rocks – these are formed by sediment that is deposited over time, usually as layers at the bottom of lakes and oceans.
Foliated – this means that something is made up of thin sheets.
Durable – means that something is quite strong and hard to break.
In conclusion, learning about metamorphic rocks can be an exciting journey for kids. By understanding the process of how rocks transform under intense heat and pressure, children can gain a deeper appreciation for the Earth’s geological history.
Metamorphic rocks offer a fascinating glimpse into the dynamic nature of our planet and the incredible forces that shape its surface. Whether it’s marble, slate, or gneiss, these rocks hold unique characteristics and stories waiting to be explored. Encouraging children to explore the world of metamorphic rocks can foster a love for geology and inspire a lifelong curiosity about the wonders of the natural world.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can metamorphic rocks change back into sedimentary or igneous rocks?
Metamorphic rocks don’t usually change back into sedimentary or igneous rocks. While they can erode and weather, transforming into sedimentary rocks would require additional processes like erosion, transportation, deposition, and lithification. The formation of igneous rocks involves melting and solidification, which are distinct from metamorphism.
2. How do geologists identify and classify metamorphic rocks?
Geologists use X-ray diffraction and microscopy techniques to identify the minerals and textures in metamorphic rocks. They also analyze the rock’s structure and consider regional geology to classify them into different types.
3. What are the different types of metamorphic rock textures?
Metamorphic rocks can have different textures, such as foliated (layered), non-foliated (no visible layering), and lineated (striped). These textures reflect the conditions and processes the rocks underwent during metamorphism.