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Chapter 14 - Metamorphic rocks

Cornelis Klein
Affiliation:
University of New Mexico
Anthony R. Philpotts
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
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Summary

Metamorphism is the sum of all changes that take place in a rock when it experiences changes in temperature, pressure (both lithostatic and directed), or composition of fluids in the environment. The important word in this definition is change. The changes may be physical, chemical, isotopic, or any combination of these. The original rock, known as the protolith, can be igneous, sedimentary, or a previous metamorphic rock. Most metamorphic reactions are very slow, so time is important in determining how complete a change may be. Some rocks are more reactive than others, and higher temperatures and the presence of fluids also speed up reactions. Changes that take place while rocks are heating are referred to as prograde and those occurring during cooling are referred to as retrograde. Changes that take place at low temperatures during the compaction and lithification of sediments could, in the broadest sense, be considered metamorphic, but normally only reactions taking place above about 150°C are dealt with in metamorphic studies, but the division is arbitrary. Reactions have a greater chance of going to completion at the higher temperatures experienced by metamorphic rocks than they do in sedimentary rocks. At the highest temperatures, metamorphic rocks begin to melt, producing mixtures of metamorphic and igneous rocks known as migmatites.

Type
Chapter
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Earth Materials
Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology
, pp. 390 - 429
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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References

Barrow, G. 1983 On an intrusion of muscovite-biotite gneiss in the southeast Highlands of Scotland, and its accompanying metamorphismQuarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 49 330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowen, N. L. 1940 Progressive metamorphism of siliceous limestone and dolomiteJournal of Geology 48 225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eskola, P. 1920 The mineral facies of rocksNorsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 6 143Google Scholar
Philpotts, A. R.Ague, J. J. 2009 Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic PetrologyCambridge University PressCambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spear, F. S.Cheney, , J. T. 1989 A petrogenetic grid for pelitic schists in the system SiO2-Al2O3-FeO-MgO-K2O-H2OContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 101 149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, J. B. 1957 The graphical analysis of mineral assemblages in pelitic schistsAmerican Mineralogist 42 842Google Scholar
Vernon, R. H.Clarke, G. L. 2008 Principles of Metamorphic PetrologyCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
Yardley, B. W. D.MacKenzie, W. S.Guilford, C. 1990 Atlas of Metamorphic Rocks and Their TexturesLongmanHarlow, U.KGoogle Scholar

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