Skarn


Skarn is a very unusual contact metamorphic rock. 

Some would say that they don't belong to the group at all and are instead produced by metasomatism.





They are formed near granite intrusions like contact metamorphics, however they are formed as they come into contact with hot fluids.

More exactly, they form when sedimentary rocks such as dolomites and limestones alter when they come into contact with hot granite intrusions.

 skarn outcrop
 
By Angel Fidalgo via Flickr.com

These generate hot fluids which carry silicon, magnesium, aluminium and iron.

 skarn deposits 
 
By euphro via Flickr.com

Consequently, some valuable minerals form and those rocks often contain ores of zinc, lead, copper, iron, gold, tin, molybdenum and tungsten.

They are fine, medium or coarse grained.

 skarn
 By Maggie via Flickr.com
 

They are most often brown, grey or black but can vary.

They occur in small patches with minerals concentrated as lenses, nodules or radiating masses.

 skarn 
 
By Maggie via Flickr.com

They contain minerals such as epidote, magnetite, actinolite, wollastonite, pyroxene and grossular garnet.













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