• Roger Mason


There are three categories of rocks — igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rocks have been formed by solidification of hot silicate melts known as magmas, which may be erupted at the Earth’s surface as lavas from volcanoes. Sedimentary rocks form by a variety of processes at low temperatures near the surface, including the bottom of the seas and oceans. Metamorphic rocks, the third category, were originally either igneous or sedimentary, but their character has been changed by processes operating below the surface of the Earth. The constituent minerals of the rocks may be changed, or the shapes, sizes and mutual spatial relationships of the crystals may change. There are a variety of processes involved, and they are collectively described by the term metamorphism.


Sedimentary Rock Metamorphic Rock 86Sr Ratio Igneous Intrusion Daughter Isotope 
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© R. Mason 1991

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  • Roger Mason

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