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any solid mass of mineral or mineral-like matter that occurs naturally as a part of our life

igneous rock

a rock formed by the crystallization of molten magma

sedimentary rock

a rock formed from the weathering products of preexisting rocks that have been transported, deposited, compacted, and cemented

metamorphic rock

a rock formed by the alteration of preexisting rock deep within Earth (but still in a sold state) by heat, pressure, and/or chemically active fluids

rock cycle

a model that illustrates the origin of three basic rocks types and the interrelatedness of Earth materials and processes


a body of molten rock found at depth, inducing any dissolved gases and crystals


magma that reaches Earth's surface


the disintegration and decomposition of rock at or near Earth's surface


loose particles created by the weathering and erosion of rock, by chemical precipitation form solution in water, or from the secretions of organisms and transported by water, wind or glaciers

intrusive igneous rock

igneous rock that formed below Earth's surface

extrusive igneous rock

igneous rock that has formed on Earth's surface

porphyritic texture

an igneous texture consisting of larger crystals embedded in a matrix of much smaller crystals

granite composition

a compositional group of igneous rocks that indicate a rock is composed almost entirely of light-colored silicates, mainly quartz and feldspar

basaltic composition

a compositional group of igneous rocks indication that the rock contains substantial dark silicate minerals and calcium rich plagioclase feldspar

andesitic composition

the composition of igneous rocks lying between felsic and mafic


igneous rock composed mainly of iron and magnesium-rick minerals


the incorporation and transportation of material by mobile agent, such as water, wind, or ice


the process by which an agent of erosion loses energy and drops the sediment it is carrying


process by which sediments are squeezed together by the weigh of overlying materials driving out water


solidification of sediments by the deposition of dissolved minerals in the tiny spaces between the sedimentary particles

clastic sedimentary rock

a sedimentary rock make of broken fragments pf preexisting rock

chemical sedimentary rock

sedimentary rock consisting of material that was precipitated from water by either inorganic or organic means


the change in mineral composition and texture of a rock subjected to high temperature and pressure within the Earth

contact metamorphism

changes in rock caused by the heat from a nearby magma body

regional metamorphism

metamorphism associated with large-scale mountain-building processes

hydrothermal solution

the hot, watery solution that escapes form a mass of magma during the later stages of crystallization; Such solutions may alter the surrounding rock

foliated metamorphic rock

metamorphic rock with texture that gives the rock a layered appearance

nonfoliated metamorphic rock

metamorphic rock that does not exhibit a banded or layered appearance

mechanical weathering

the physical disintegration of rock, resulting in smaller fragments

frost wedging

the mechanical breakup of rock caused by the expansion of freezing water in cracks and crevices


an accumulation of rock debris at the base of a cliff


type of weathering caused by the reducing pressure on a rock surface, allowing slabs of outer rock to break off in layers

chemical weathering

the process by which the internal structure of a mineral is altered by the removal and/or addition of elements

mass movement

the downslope movement of rock, regolith, and soil under the direct influence of gravity


occurs when rocks or rocks fragments fall freely through the air; common on steep slopes


occurs when a mass of rock slides rapidly downslope along planes of weakness


the downward slipping of a mass of rock or unconsolidated material moving as a unit along a curved surface


quickly moving downhill flow of soil and rock fragments containing a large amount of water


slow-moving downslope movements of water-saturated, clay-rick sediment, most characteristic of humid regions


the slow downhill movement of soil and regolith

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