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Have You "Met A" Metamorphic?



Have You "Met A" Metamorphic?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.8

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    foliations, realign, short-sided, fine-grained, metamorphism, gneiss, nonfoliated, recrystallize, reposition, metamorphic, quartzite, regrow, schist, sandstone, quartz, sedimentary


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Have You "Met A" Metamorphic?
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     As you are strolling down the sidewalk in your neighborhood, it is probably hard to imagine that the rock you are kicking could be one of three different types. Chances are, one of the types, metamorphic, has not made it to your neighborhood (unless you are in Hawaii). Metamorphism is the process where heat, pressure, or chemical processes change one type of rock into metamorphic rock. This process occurs deep within the Earth's crust. The basic ingredients that are needed for this process are igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rock. If these ingredients are in place, then the underground "cooking" will begin.
 
2     Minerals deep within the Earth's crust change into other minerals when heat, pressure, and hot fluids are applied. In addition to their size and shape changing during metamorphism, minerals may also separate into parallel bands. The rocks' layered appearance can be attributed to these parallel bands. Metamorphic rocks may also form when the magma's hot fluids circulate through the rock. During this circulation, the mineral composition of the rock is changed through the dissolving of some materials and through the adding of other materials. As you can see, metamorphism takes on more than one form.
 
3     Through their research, geologists have learned that a rock which has undergone metamorphosis can give clues to the conditions of the environment during the time the original rock was changed. There are also other factors that determine the type of minerals that will form in rocks during metamorphism. The composition of the original rock that is going through metamorphism and the variation in the amount and direction of heat and pressure can affect the combination of minerals that form in the new rock. The combinations of minerals can also be affected by the presence or absence of fluids during the process. Now that we know there are quite a few factors that affect how metamorphic rocks are formed, we should now look at the two main types of metamorphism.

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