Q:

What are some facts about rocks?

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Quick Answer

Rock is the primary component of the Earth's crust. Although soil, sand and other natural materials are similar to rocks, they are not actually rocks and are classified as derivatives of rocks. Minerals are necessary to form nearly all types of rock, and most include more than one mineral. Metals are also found in many rock types.

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Full Answer

There are three classes of rock and they are all formed in different ways. Igneous rock is created by the cooling of a molten mixture of minerals called magma. Magma is found below the earth's crust. When the magma cools below the Earth's surface, the rocks that are formed are called intrusive, and when it cools above the Earth's surface, they are extrusive rocks.

Sedimentary rock is created from loose material, such as sand, pebbles, mud and even pieces of organic matter. Sediments are loose materials that are moved from one place to another. Sediment becomes rock after millions of years of pressure and chemical action.

The final type of rock is metamorphic rock, which forms under the Earth's surface through the alteration of existing sedimentary or igneous rocks. These alterations can be caused by pressure, chemical reactions, movement of the Earth's crust, heat and pressure.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are rocks important?

    A:

    Rocks are important because geologists use evidence from them to learn about what the Earth was like in the past. They allow scientists to build a historical record of the planet to learn what events occurred before people lived.

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  • Q:

    What are rock and gem shows?

    A:

    Rock and gem shows gather geological enthusiasts who display fossils, rocks, gemstones, meteorites and jewelry. The key is that all products at rock and gem shows come from rocks and minerals. Dealers, buyers and sellers gather at rock and gem shows to deal their wares.

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  • Q:

    How are rocks different from minerals?

    A:

    Rocks are different from minerals in that minerals are single crystalline accumulations of one or more elements, while rocks are solid accumulations of one or more minerals. Rock can either refer to a particular, detached object or, in a general sense, as a synonym for stone, generally referring to a portion of the substance. Individual minerals can be obvious in rocks, as with granite, or microscopic, as with many basalts.

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  • Q:

    How are rocks used?

    A:

    Humans use rocks for a wide variety of purposes, including construction and as a source of valuable minerals located inside the rocks. Additionally, humans use rocks for decoration, recreation and thermal purposes. Humans are not the only organisms that utilize rocks, as plants, animals and fungi use rocks for stability, digestive purposes and as a substrate.

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