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With Magma You Get Igneous, Part I



With Magma You Get Igneous, Part I
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    fine-grained, fractional, porphyritic, vesicular, extrusive, glassy, viscous, intrusive, coarse-grained, pumice, beginning, crystallize, composition, basalt, obsidian, classify
     content words:    In With Magma You Get Igneous, Part II


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With Magma You Get Igneous, Part I
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Cooling magma under the Earth's surface is the reason our planet has igneous rock. Most of the igneous rock that is formed has a crystalline appearance. Its crystals are the result of minerals crystallizing as the igneous rock is forming. Scientists determine the identity of igneous rocks by their texture and their chemical composition.
 
2     Our journey begins with the magma. Melting rock provides the magma necessary to form new igneous rock. Once the temperature of the rock goes above the melting point of its minerals, the rock will melt. A mineral's melting point depends on the chemical composition of the mineral within the rock. If excess pressure is taken away from rocks that have temperature higher than their melting points, the rocks will also melt. Finally, hot fluids like water can cause rocks to melt. Rocks that are extremely hot are under a great amount of pressure. Once water is added to hot rocks, the melting point of some minerals in the rock will decrease. As the melting point decreases, the minerals and the rock may melt. Remember, a decreased melting point means that it takes a lower temperature to melt the minerals and the rock. Speaking of melting, let's examine partial melting.
 
3     There are many different types of minerals all with different melting points. It's the minerals with very low melting points that melt first. Magma gets its specific composition from these minerals. The composition of the magma continually changes as the temperature increases and more different minerals melt. When minerals melt at different temperatures, this is called partial melting.

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