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naturally occurring solid mixture of one or more minerals and organic matter; important natural resource

rock cycle

process by which new rock forms from old rock materials


how rocks are broken down into fragments, through water, wind, ice and heat; the fragments formed are sediment


process by which wind, water, ice or gravity transports soil and sediment from one location to another


process in which sediment moved by erosion is dropped and comes to rest; sediment is found in bodies of water and other low-lying areas.


movement within Earth that causes rock inside Earth to move to surface

Sedimentary rock

formed from grains of sand and other sediment from hills/mountains washed to the ocean; layers of sediment compact together and from sedimentary rock-formed through deposition and pressure

Metamorphic rock

intense heat and pressure squeezes sedimentary rock to this type of rock


a result of when rock partially or completely melts; when in contact with metamorphic rock, the rock melts and becomes part of magma

Igneous rock

hot liquid rock or magma that cools and solidifies; formed through heat when pressure is released and rises to the Earth's surface


a result of weather igneous rock that is deposited, starting the cycle all over again

Rocks identity

is changed over time, heat, pressure, weathering and erosion

Rock composition

minerals a rock contains; chemical makeup of a rock

Rock texture

quality of a rock that is based on the sizes, shapes and positions of the rock's grains; can tell how and were the rock is formed

rock density

the lighter colored rocks are less dense and called Felsic Rocks/ Mafic Rocks are dark colored rocks

intrusive igneous rock

a result of magma pushing into surrounding rock; has a course-grained texture; forms large visible crystals
plutons - large, irregular-shaped intrusive bodies
batholiths - largest igneous intrusions
stocks - smaller igneous intrusions


sheetlike intrusions that cut across previous rock units


sheetlike intrusions that are parallel to previous rock units

extrusive igneous rock

forms from magma that erupts (volcanic activity) onto Earth's surface


product of weather which breaks rock into pieces


compacted or compressed sand that turns into sedimentary rock

types of sedimentary rock

forms at or near Earth's surface
Clastic - forms when rock or mineral fragments called clasts are cemented together
ex. conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone shale
Chemical - when minerals crystallize out of a solution, such as sea water to become rock
ex. halite
Organic - forms from the remains of once-living plants and animals
ex. fossils, coral, coal


another word for layers


process in which sedimentary rock are arranged in layers

ripple marks

visible markings brought on by the motion of wind and water waves of lakes, ocean, rivers and sand dunes

mud cracks

formed when fine-grained sediments at the bottom of a shallow body of water are exposed to the air dry out; the cracks show the locations of former lakes, streams, or ocean shorelines

Types of Metamorphic Rocks

contact - when heated by nearby magma; occurs near igneous intrusions
regional - build up of pressure below other rock formations or when large pieces collide

index minerals

metamorphic minerals that form at certain temperatures and pressures

metamorphic textures

foliated - when the mineral grains are arranged in planes or bands
ex. slate
non-foliated - minearl grains that are not arranged in planes or bands


minerals change


a change in the shape of a rock caused by a force placed on it

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