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Igneous Rocks - Don't Just Take Them for Granite



Igneous Rocks - Don't Just Take Them for Granite
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Coarse-grained, extrusive, felsic, gabbro, mafic, intrusive, igneous, basalt, silica, granite, magma, pumice, classification, fiery, increase, continuous


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Igneous Rocks - Don't Just Take Them for Granite
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Igneous means "formed from fire." Igneous rocks are formed from fiery magma. This is hot, liquid rock deep inside the earth. When it comes close to the surface, it cools into hard rock.
 
2     How is magma formed? As you go farther below the surface of the earth, temperature and pressure increase. Rocks and minerals melt under these conditions. They combine with gases in a kind of rock soup. As this mixture cools, it forms crystals.
 
3     If the magma breaks through the surface, it becomes lava. It cools very quickly. Extrusive igneous rocks form. The crystals are very small. These rocks have a fine grain quality to them.
 
4     If the magma stays below the surface, it cools slowly. Coarse-grained igneous rocks are formed. The crystals are very large. These are called intrusive igneous rocks.
 
5     Igneous rocks are classified by scientists according to certain characteristics. One way they are classified is by the minerals that make them up.

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