Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks


Terms to learn:

metamorphism                          protolith                differential stress
metamorphic grade                foliation                  slate
schist                                                gneiss                     contact metamorphism
regional metamorphism       blueschist


Topic outline:

  1. Metamorphism
  2. Factors controlling metamorphism
    1. Composition of protolith (parent rock)
    2. Heat (temperature)
    3. Pressure
      1. Types of pressure
        1. confining pressure (lithostatic)
        2. differential stress – compressive (flattening effect) or shearing
    4. Fluids - metasomatism
  3. Textural and mineralogical changes
    1. metamorphic grade
    2. Foliation
    3. progressive metamorphism
  4. Metamorphic rocks
    1. non-foliated
    2. foliated
  5. Plate tectonic occurrence
    1. Contact (thermal)
    2. Regional (dynamothermal)
    3. Blueschist metamorphism


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When you are finished with this topic, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. What are the major agents of metamorphism and what role do they play?
  2. What information does foliation provide about the conditions of formation of the rock?
  3. What P-T paths do each of the types of metamorphism follow (i.e. contact, regional, and blueschist)?