1 Metamorphic Rocks 3- Metamorphic Rocks Rocks that form when a pre-existing rock (protolith) changes due to temperature or pressure, and/or as a result of squashing or shearing. Protolith the pre-existing rock Metamorphism doesn t include weathering, diagenesis, and melting. It is a solid-state process. James Hutton, a Scottish doctor became fascinated by metamorphic rocks and published a book, Theory of the Earth (1795), and outlined many fundamentals of geology that are still used today. He is referred to as the father of geology. Charles Lyell first proposed the word metamorphism in his book, Principles of Geology (1833). He was a good friend of Charles Darwin and his work highly influenced Charles Darwin s theory of evolution.
2 How Do We Identify Metamorphic Rocks? 1- Metamorphic Textures grains are interlocked and grew in place. Many different types of metamorphic textures 2- Metamorphic Minerals Certain minerals only grow under metamorphic temperatures and pressures. - Called a metamorphic mineral assemblage, or metamorphic facies 3- Foliation The alignment of platy minerals or alternating layers of light (felsic) and dark (mafic) minerals. A foliated Outcrop of Gneiss
3 Formation of Metamorphic Textures How do metamorphic textures form? Recrystalization changes the shape and size of grains, but the same mineral remains. E.g. Sandstone may recystallize into quartzite. See (a) Phase Change When a mineral keeps the same composition but the atoms arrange into a new form (polymorph). E.g. quartz (SiO 2 ) may change to coesite (SiO 2 ). Metamorphic reaction/neocrystallization The result of chemical processes that decompose minerals and produce new minerals. Happens through diffusion of atoms through solid crystals. Very slow process. See (b) Pressure Solution Mineral grains dissolve where their surfaces are in contact. Occurs when rock is squeezed in one direction more than the others, at low temps, and usually in the presence of water. Usually zig-zag shaped and common in carbonates. See (c) Plastic Deformation At high temps, minerals can behave like soft plastic and become squished or stretched. Takes place without forming cracks and without changing the composition of the minerals. See (d)
4 What Causes Metamorphism? 1. Heat - Increased heat allows chemical bonds to break easier. 2. Pressure high pressures cause minerals with open lattices to collapse, forming more dense crystals. Most metamorphic rocks form at km depth where pressures are 10,000-30,000 times greater than the surface of the Earth. A nice sample of gneiss 3. Differential Stress When forces are not equal in all directions, minerals may deform and change shape. 4. Hydrothermal Fluids More than just water, hydrothermal fluids are solutions that chemically react with minerals. Recrystallized limestone becomes marble
5 Changing Temperature and Pressure X Y Minerals have Stability Fields or regions of pressure and temperature where they are stable. Enter a new stability field and a new mineral begins to form Al 2 SiO 5 Phase Diagram Stability Fields are characterized by both pressure and temperature and can be represented on a Phase Diagram like the one above.
6 Differential Stress Pressure A stress that is the same in all directions. Can only change size (volumetric), not shape. E.g. water pressure, lithostatic stress. Differential Stress When the stress is not equal in all directions. Can change size and shape. Normal Stress pushes or pulls perpendicular (normal) to a surface. E.g. crushing a soda can. Shear Stress moves one part of a material sideways relative to the other side. E.g. spreading out a desk of cards.
7 Changes in Shape due to Differential Stress Differential stresses may cause once equant (~same length in all dimensions) to become elongate or tabular/platy in shape. The preferred orientation of these inequant grains gives the rock a foliation (a planar fabric) Tabular /
8 Formation of Foliation Differential stress can result in the formation of foliations (planar fabrics) in a variety of ways.
9 The Role of Hydrothermal Fluids Hydrothermal fluids - Include hot water, steam, and supercritical fluid. Hydrothermal fluids are chemically-active in that they are able to dissolve certain minerals, so hydrothermal fluids are solutions, not just water. Supercritical Fluid A substance that forms under high temps and pressures that has properties of both a gas and a liquid. Supercritical fluids permeate rocks like a gas and react with minerals like a fluid. Where does this fluid come from? 1- groundwater that percolates downward. 2- water and volatiles released from magma 3- water is released during some metamorphic reactions KAl 3 Si 3 O 10 (OH) 2 + SiO 2 KAlSi 3 O 8 + Al 2 SiO 5 + H 2 O Muscovite Quartz K-Feldspar Sillamanite Water Hydrothermal fluids speed metamorphic reactions because fluids allow for easy transport of ions and fluids are consumed in some reactions Metasomatism The process by which a rock s chemical composition changes due to reactions with hydrothermal fluids. Metasomatism commonly results in the formation of veins, mineral filled cracks.
10 Veins Veins are different than joints Veins: Filled with minerals Commonly wavy in shape Joints: Usually planar Usually not mineralized, i.e. just a crack
11 Types of Metamorphic Rocks Metamorphic rocks are grouped into two main categories: Foliated Metamorphic Rocks Non-Foliated Metamorphic Rocks But what exactly is foliation?
12 Foliation Foliation The repetition of planar surfaces or layers in a metamorphic rock. Layers can be paper-thin or meters thick. Happens because when rocks are subjected to differential stress, platy minerals align or alternating light and dark layers form, giving the rock a planar fabric, called foliation. Note that this is different than bedding. Slate, a foliated metamorphic rock makes nice roof shingles because its foliation creates cleavage planes that easily break
13 Foliation and Compression Direction Slaty Cleavage forms perpendicular to the compression direction, i.e. a horizontal squish will create vertical cleavage planes. Compression also commonly results in folding.
14 Foliated Metamorphic Rocks Distinguished based on grain size, composition, and nature of foliation Slate finest grained metamorphic rock. Foliation occurs because of alignment of chlorite grains. Protoliths of shale and mudstone. Lots of slate mines in Vermont! Phyllite Fine-grained, foliation occurs because of alignment of mica and occasionally chlorite. Translucent aligned mica grains give it a silky or waxy sheen called phyllitic luster. Phyllite forms when shale/mudstone is metamorphosed at temperatures high enough to cause neocrystallization (mica and chlorite form). Foliation is from aligned mica and chlorite grains that align due to differential stress. Flattened Clast Conglomerate (aka metaconglomerate or stretched pebble conglomerate) forms when conglomerates or breccias get squished (plastic deformation) and the once round pebbles become flattened. Foliation defined by the squished pebbles. Phyllite Metaconglomerate
15 Foliated Metamorphic Rocks Schist A medium to coarse grained metamorphic rock that possesses schistosity defined by the preferred orientation of large mica grains (biotite/muscovite) as a result of differential stress. Forms at higher temps than phyllite and has larger grains. Also contains a range of different minerals depending on composition of the protolith. Can have a wide range of protoliths so long as the protolith contains the elements necessary to make mica. Gneiss a medium to coarse grained compositionally layered [gneissic banding] metamorphic rock consisting of alternating light [felsic] and dark [mafic] layers. Schist Phyllite Gneiss Metaconglomerate
16 How Does Gneissic Banding Form? During shearing and compression, minerals become stretched (plastic deformation) all while recrystallization and neocrystallization is taking place Analogy: think of stirring chocolate fudge into ice cream. The fudge starts out in a blob but gets deformed and smeared during stirring.
17 How Does Gneissic Banding Form? During shearing and compression, minerals become stretched (plastic deformation) all while recrystallization and neocrystallization is taking place Analogy: think of stirring chocolate fudge into ice cream. The fudge starts out in a blob but gets deformed and smeared during stirring.
18 How Does Gneissic Banding Form? During shearing and compression, minerals become stretched (plastic deformation) all while recrystallization and neocrystallization is taking place Analogy: think of stirring chocolate fudge into ice cream. The fudge starts out in a blob but gets deformed and smeared during stirring.
19 How Does Gneissic Banding Form? During shearing and compression, minerals become stretched (plastic deformation) all while recrystallization and neocrystallization is taking place Analogy: think of stirring chocolate fudge into ice cream. The fudge starts out in a blob but gets deformed and smeared during stirring.
20 Foliated Metamorphic Rocks Migmatite combination of partially melted metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks. Typically, a gneiss when subjected to hydrothermal fluids will attain a lower melting point and begin to partially melt. The felsic stuff melts forming a new felsic igneous rock surrounded by metamorphic gneiss that is more mafic. The resulting mixture of these two rock types is called a migmatite and has a marble cake kind of look. Migmatite
21 Nonfoliated Metamorphic Rocks Metamorphic rocks that have recrystallized and/or neocrystallized but do not typically have a foliation (usually because grains are not sufficiently elongated). Distinguished based on composition, but may be foliated if subjected to significant differential stress Hornfels Rock that undergoes heating in the absence of significant differential stress. Typically hornfels form when rocks are baked by igneous intrusions (contact metamorphism). No foliation is present because crystals grow in random orientations due to a lack of significant differential stress. Composition varies and depends on composition of protolith. Amphibolite Metamorphosed mafic rock (basalt, gabbro) can t form felsic minerals, so they tend to form amphibolites, which are dominantly made of visible crystals of hornblende and plagioclase (Ca-feldspar). Can often be foliated. Amphibolite
22 Nonfoliated Metamorphic Rocks Quartzite Quartzite Metamorphosed quartz sandstone with larger interlocking quartz crystals. Matrix material and pore space is eliminated. Sandstone looks grainy, Quartzite looks glassier or more crystalline. Marble limestone and other carbonate rocks recrystallize into interlocking grains of calcite. Pore space and much of the original grain form is destroyed. Impurities may form compositional bands occasionally because marble flows at relatively low temperatures. Marble
23 Metamorphic Compositions Occasionally, for simplicity, geologists will simply refer to the composition of a metamorphic rock Mafic (or Basic) Metamorphic Rock lots of mafic minerals Calcareous Metamorphic Rock Calcite-bearing protoliths (limestone) Quartzo-Feldspathic (i.e. felsic) Metamorphic Rocks form from protoliths than contain a lot of feldspar and quartz (e.g. granite, diorite) Occasionally geologists will simply refer to metamorphic rocks by their protolith Metasedimentary rock Metaigneous rock Pelitic Metamorphic Rock Sedimentary protolith Metaconglomerate is a metasedimentary rock
24 Metamorphic Grade Not all metamorphism occurs under the same conditions, so geologists classify the metamorphic grade, or specific set of conditions under which certain metamorphic rocks form Metamorphic Facies groups of metamorphic minerals that form under similar temperature and pressure conditions. Low-Grade rocks that form under low temperatures ( o C) Intermediate-Grade rocks that form under temperatures ( o C) High-Grade rocks that form above ~600 o C.
25 Prograde & Retrograde Metamorphism Prograde Metamorphism Metamorphism that occurs while temp and pressure progressively increase. They form minerals that are stable at higher temp and pressure. Neocrystallization commonly releases water in the host rock, so high grade rocks tend to be drier (little no OH - ) than low grade rocks. So, schist loses its schistosity at high grades and may form gneiss. Biotite: K(Mg,Fe) 3 AlSi 3 O 10 (F,OH) 2 Muscovite: KAl 2 (AlSi 3 O 10 )(F,OH) 2 Chlorite: (Fe, Mg, Al) 6 (Si, Al) 4 O 10 (OH) 8 Chlorite is common in retrograded rocks Retrograde Metamorphism Metamorphism that occurs when temp and pressure decreases. For metamorphic reactions to occur in these conditions, water must be added to the rock (hydrothermal fluids). Without water, high grade rocks cannot be retrograded. This is why very old (billions of years) high grade rocks are exposed at the surface of the Earth in certain places.
26 Metamorphic Grade: Graphical View
27 Shale: Diagenesis to High-Grade Metamorphism A single protolith (shale shown below) can form a variety of metamorphic rocks depending on the grade of metamorphism incurred after burial. Certain mineral assemblages reflect the grade of metamorphism
28 A given P-T horizon has a characteristic set of minerals that form. Which ones form depend on protolith composition Metamorphic Facies If you know the P-T conditions and the protolith composition, you can predict the mineralogy of the resultant metamorphic rock
29 P-T Paths The metamorphic rocks that we see are now exposed at the surface of the Earth, so we can describe the life of a metamorphic rock with a P-T path. The life cycle of a rock can be plotted on a pressure temperature plot. These plots outline the P-T (pressure, temperature) history of a rock
30 Isograds Zones of Similar P-T Conditions Since we can determine the P-T conditions of a metamorphic rock based on its metamorphic facies, we can map out regions of similar metamorphic grade. These regions are separated by lines called isograds, which are lines that delineate the first appearance of a mineral from a new metamorphic facies
31 Metamorphic Environments The geothermal gradient varies throughout various tectonic environments, so it stands to reason that metamorphic processes will vary depending on tectonic environment. In general, heat flow is HIGH in: Near magma bodies Rifts (rising magma) Young mountain belts (faults bring up warm rocks) Heat Flow is LOW in: Stable continents (called cratons).
32 Burial Metamorphism As sediments are buried in a sedimentary basin P increases because of the weight of the overburden. T increases because of the geothermal gradient. Requires burial below diagenetic effects. This is ~ 8 15 km depending on the geothermal gradient.
33 Heat flows from hotter to colder materials, so when a hot igneous intrusion (magma) comes into contact with cold country rock, it creates a metamorphic aureole / contact aureole or baked zone. This results in contact metamorphism, whereby rocks undergo metamorphic reactions due to heating (little or no pressure change) Contact metamorphism typically produces hornfels, a nonfoliated metamorphic rock. Contact Metamorphism
34 Dynamic Metamorphism Although at shallow depths faults break rock and slide past each other, in the asthenosphere, rocks don t break, rather they flow past each other. Rock in the deep portions of faults undergoes dynamic metamorphism and creates a fine-grained metamorphic rock called a mylonite Mylonites are thus found at all plate boundaries at depth.
35 Fault Breccia At shallow depths, faults break rocks into angular pieces forming a rock called fault breccia
36 Mylonite An exposure where a gneiss once met a ductile shear zone. Same composition, but grain size is greatly reduced. Grain size change, causes the color to change. Gneiss Mylonite
37 Regional Metamorphism Mountain belts commonly produce a range of metamorphic rocks. When subduction eats up all available oceanic crust, collisional orogens (mountain building events) happen. Mountains get eroded and expose the once deep metamorphic rocks (e.g. most of the High Country)
38 Regional Metamorphism Regional metamorphism creates foliated rocks. This type of metamorphism is, by far, the most important in terms of the amount of rock altered. Collisional belts are often 1000 s of km long. 100 s of km wide.
39 Hydrothermal Metamorphism Alteration by hot, chemically aggressive water. A dominant process near mid-ocean ridge magma. Cold ocean water seeps into fractured crust. Heated by magma, this water then reacts with mafic rock. The hot water rises and is ejected via black smokers.
40 Subduction Metamorphism Subduction creates the unique blueschist facies. Trenches and accretionary prisms have Low temperature (low geothermal gradient) High pressures High P & Low T favor glaucophane, a blue amphibole mineral. Blueschist from Shell Beach, CA
41 Meteor impacts can generate a large amount of heat from the conversion of kinetic energy to heat This heat may melt or even vaporize rock Causes quartz to change phase to coesite or stishovite (polymorphs) sometimes referred to as shocked quartz. Meteor Crater, AZ has abundant shocked quartz Chicxulub Crater also has shocked quartz!
42 Exhumation How do metamorphic rocks return to the surface? Exhumation is due to... Uplift Compression squeezes deep rocks upward. Faults bring up deep rocks Erosional unroofing Weathering and erosion removes vast amounts of rock. San Gabriel Mountains: Los Angeles, CA Deep rocks brought up by the Sierra Madre Fault.
43 Where Can You Find Metamorphic Rocks Today? Shield Older portions of the continental crust where large amounts of metamorphic rock crop out at the surface of the Earth.
44 The Rock Cycle Once a rock is formed it may be changed into a new type of rock by various processes The Rock Cycle is a mass transport cycle that outlines the progressive transformation of Earth materials from one rock type to another. The Earth is affected by various cycles Temporal Cycle time dependant, such as lunar cycles, seasons, etc Mass-Transfer Cycle involving the transport of materials Weathering Metamorphism Granite Arkose Gneiss
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