Rocks come from magma, which is the molten material found within the earth. When magma cools, either above or below the earth's surface, it crystallizes and forms the igneous rocks that can later be changed into metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. Magma, which can be considered molten rock, is referred to as lava when it reaches the earth's surface.Know More
The igneous rocks initially formed from cooled and crystallized magma can eventually be weathered down into fragments by the forces of erosion. They then become sedimentary rocks through the additional processes of compaction and cementation. Both igneous and sedimentary rocks can be transformed into metamorphic rock when subjected to pressure and temperature conditions other than those which originally formed them. Heat is produced by the friction generated by movements of Earth's tectonic plates, and the creation of mountains creates pressure. An intrusion of magma into surrounding rock can also be a source of heat. Overall, the temperatures and pressures needed to produce metamorphic rocks are much greater than those found on the earth's surface.
Each of the three major classes of rock can be transformed into one of the other classes through the continuing processes of heat, pressure and erosion. This ongoing transformation of rocks is referred to as the rock cycle.Learn more about Geology
The specific type of rock that forms when magma cools at the Earth's surface is extrusive igneous rock. Igneous rock forms when magma cools, but where the magma cools determines the type of igneous rock that forms. Igneous rock gets its name from the Greek word for fire and is so called due to the extremely hot liquid from which the rocks originate.Full Answer >
Rhyolitic magma has the greatest silica content, with silica making up about 70 percent of the magma. Basaltic and andesitic magma have lower silica contents at 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively.Full Answer >
A plateau is formed by a process of geological uplift, either due to the collision of continental plates, pressure from magma below or the burial of land by volcanic lava and ash flows, resulting in a high, flat surface. These are very similar to processes that give rise to mountains and mountain ranges. The only major difference is that a plateau is flat while mountains are peaked.Full Answer >
As of 2014, scientists believe the Earth to be 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus 50 million years. This measurement was calculated using radiometric dating techniques on rocks found on Earth, samples from the Moon and meteorites from elsewhere in the Solar System.Full Answer >