Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks

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1 Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks

2 REMEMBER.. Metamorphic rocks NEVER melt If a rock melts it s an IGNEOUS rock!

3 Factors Controlling Characteristics Composition of parent rock (protolith) Heat Pressure confining pressure lithostatic pressure Chemically active fluids Hot fluids trigger chemical change Time

4 Parent rock (protolith) Metamorphic rocks have same overall chemical composition as the parent rock except for the loss of volatiles (H 2 O and CO 2 ) Change in MINERALS, similar to same chemical composition Protolith determines effect of heat, pressure and/or chemically active fluids

5 Grades of Metamorphism With progressively higher temperatures and pressures: shale (sedimentary rock) slate phyllite schist gneiss low med high At very high grade metamorphism Complete transformation Features in parent rock (protolith) are obliterated

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8 Zones of metamorphic intensities in New England

9 Heat Most important agent Provides energy for change Vibrations of molecules allows ions to migrate into more stable crystalline structures

10 Where does the heat come from? Intrusion of hot magma Contact metamorphism Weight of overlying strata Increased temperature and pressure with depth Geothermal gradient Rocks carried to great depths Regional metamorphism Plate tectonics Subduction zones

11 Earth s geothermal gradient

12 Pressure Confining pressure Pressure, like temp, increases with depth Forces applied equally in all directions on buried rock No deformation

13 Pressure contd. Differential stress Directional stress Creates texture - deformation Acts in one plane Rock shortened in direction of stress Rock elongated in direction perpendicular to stress Direction of stress Setting: Plate tectonics

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16 Effect of depth and temp on deformation Rocks close to Earth s surface Low pressure/low temp Brittle fracture when subjected to directional stress Rocks deeply buried High pressure/high temp Ductile behavior Rocks flatten and elongate Creates folds

17 Flattened pebbles or mineral grains

18 Metaconglomerate

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20 Chemically active fluids Fluids composed of water and other volatile components including CO 2 Act to aid in ion migration Hot liquid dissolves iron allowing ions to migrate from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure Minerals grow larger in direction perpendicular to direction of stress

21 Where do the fluids come from? Water trapped in sedimentary rocks and in cracks in igneous rocks Some minerals are hydrated Clays, micas, amphiboles Water within crystalline structure Temp for Low to med grade metamorphism dehydration of minerals Temp for high grade metamorphism Water expelled

22 Types of metamorphism: Hydrothermal metamorphism Hot, iron rich fluids circulate through rock causing chemical alteration of minerals At mid-ocean ridges Associated with hydrothermal vents

23 Types of Metamorphism: Contact metamorphism From intrusion of hot magma Narrow zone of contact Hornfels Wide variety of rocks formed due to contact metamorphism Very fine grained, very hard, non-foliated rocks Creates aureoles Zones of metamorphism Near magma source high temp minerals may form garnet Further away low grade minerals form chlorite

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26 The Granite Peak aureole, located 12 miles east of Lincoln, Montana. An aureole is the zone of contact metamorphism surrounding an igneous intrusion. This metamorphic aureole is developed around a granitic stock that has intruded into dolomite country rock. The intensity of metamorphism diminished outward from the granite margin, and particular assemblages of metamorphic minerals occur within each contact metamorphic zone. (Simplified from Melson, W. G Am. Mineralogist 51: 404, Fig. 1.).

27 Types of Metamorphism Regional metamorphism takes place at great depths (high pressure and high temperatures) mountain building large geographic area

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29 Occurrences of met rocks

30 Metamorphic textures Texture: Size, shape and arrangement of mineral grains within a rock Not the overall feel of the rock itself! Metamorphic rocks are either Foliated (=leaflike) Non-foliated crystalline

31 Fundamental characteristic of regionally metamorphosed rocks Driven by compressional stresses Types: Parallel alignment of platy and/or elongated minerals Parallel alignment of flattened pebbles and/or mineral grains Compositional banding of light and dark colored minerals Slaty cleavage

32 Foliated textures Rock or slaty cleavage Closely spaced planar surfaces along which rocks split Ex: slate Low grade metamorphism Shistosity Gneissic banding

33 Compositional layering

34 What minerals do you see?

35 Parallel alignment of platy and/or elongated minerals

36 Slaty Cleavage Parallel cleavage allows it to split easily into flat plates

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