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Study Guide for Rocks Test
Rock Cycle = a series of processes on Earth’s surface and in the crust and mantle that slowly change rocks
from one kind to another; rocks can follow many different paths as seen in the diagram below.
The Rock Cycle and Plate Tectonics
Plate movements start the rock cycle by helping to form magma, the source of igneous rocks. Plate
movements also cause faulting, folding, and other motions of the crust that help to form sedimentary and
metamorphic rocks.
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Type of Rock
igneous
How its Formed
when magma / lava cools and hardens
Example
granite
basalt
obsidian
pumice
sedimentary
when the remains of plants, animals, or
other rocks are pressed (compacted)
and cemented together
* most likely to contain fossils when
dead organisms are buried by sediment
sandstone
shale
limestone
metamorphic
when an existing rock is changed by
heat, pressure, or chemical reactions;
most formed deep underground; heat
comes from the mantle
gneiss
slate
gneiss
quartzite
marble
Uses
 building material
 used to build bridges and
public buildings in the 1800’s
and early 1900’s
 used in curbstones, floors,
kitchen counters today
 building material
 tools (arrowheads)
 the White House is made of
sandstone!
 limestone can be used in
making cement and steel
 building material
 sculpture
 Abraham Lincoln is carved
out of white marble in the
Lincoln Memorial in
Washington, DC!
 used in roofing, flooring,
walkways, chalkboards
Key Vocabulary Terms
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rock-forming minerals= minerals that are found in rocks
rock = nonliving part of the environment made up of minerals and other material
extrusive rock = igneous rock formed from lava that erupted onto Earth’s surface
intrusive rock= igneous rock that formed when magma hardened beneath Earth’s surface
foliated = metamorphic rocks that have their grains arranged in parallel layers or bands
nonfoliated= metamorphic rocks that have their grains arranged randomly
texture = the look and feel of the rock’s surface; geologists use terms based on the size, shape, and
pattern of the rock’s grains to describe its texture
Classifying Rocks  rocks are classified by:
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mineral composition
color
texture
how the rock is formed
How a Sedimentary Rock is Formed:
1. Erosion= running water, wind, or ice loosen and carry away fragments of rock
2. Deposition = the process by which sediment settles out of the water or wind carrying it
3. Compaction = process that presses sediments together
4. Cementation = process in which dissolved minerals crystallize and glue particles of sediment together
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Test: Rocks Study Guide - Norwood Public Schools