Metamorphic Petrology


So what is metamorphic petrology?

Petrology is the study of rocks. Along with mineralogy, structural geology, geochemistry, geophysics and others, it is part of geology. So, a metamorphic one is the study of metamorphic rocks.





Metamorphic rocks are derived from pre-existing rocks by structural, chemical and mineralogical changes due to changes in pressure, temperature, chemical environment and shearing stress at depths below the zones of cementation and weathering.

There is no melting - it is a process in solid state.

 metamorphic petrology

The pressure and temperature relationship is concluded in the metamorphic facies concept, which states that rocks with the same chemical composition should produce the same metamorphic assemblage at the same temperatures and pressures.

Deformation also plays a significant role.

During the metamorphic cycle a metavolcanic or metasedimentary rock is finally brought back to the surface. On its way back up it experiences retrograde metamorphism and changing mineralogy.

Metamorphic textures include hornfelsic, crystalline, granulated and brecciated.

Typical metamorphic minerals are quartz, micas,
feldspar, epidote, staurolite, sillimanite, kyanite, amphibole, graphite, andalusite and garnet.   
Some other characteristics include

* cleavage related to regional structures

* progressive change in mineralogy over a large area

* parallel grains over a large area

* distorted crystals, pebbles or fossils

* located close to igneous rocks, sometimes as an aureole

* often located in orogenic or precambrian terrain













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