Rock Cycle Unit Vocabulary
1. lithosphere – rigid, top layer of Earth made of the crust and upper mantle
- broken into plates that move around on the lower mantle
2. mantle – largest layer of Earth’s interior that lies below the crust
- although solid, it flows slowly like putty
3. igneous rock – rock that forms when melted rock material from inside the Earth cools & hardens
4. extrusive – igneous rocks that form when lava cools quickly on Earth’s surface
- due to quick cooling, these have small or no crystals
5. intrusive – igneous rocks that form when magma cools slowly beneath Earth’s surface
- due to slow cooling, these contain larger crystals
6. sedimentary rock – rock that forms from sediments, dissolved minerals or plant and animal matter that
collect to form rock layers
7. detrital rocks – sedimentary rocks that are made from erosion & deposition of sediments in layers that
are cemented (glued)together by dissolved minerals in water and compacted(squeezed)
8. chemical rocks – sedimentary rocks that form when mineral-filled water evaporates
9. organic rocks – sedimentary rocks that form when living matter dies, piles up and then is compressed
into rock
10. metamorphic rock – rocks that form when existing rocks are heated or squeezed but not melted
11. foliated – metamorphic rocks that have visible bands or elongated grains of minerals due to the
minerals being heated and squeezed into parallel layers
12. nonfoliated – metamorphic rocks that have no distinct bands, minerals do not seem to line up in any
particular direction
13. rock cycle – a model that describes how different kinds of rock are related to one another and how
rocks continually change from one type to another

Rock Cycle Unit Vocabulary 1. lithosphere – rigid, top layer of Earth

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