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Petrology - The branch of geology dealing with the origin, occurrence, structure, and history of

Petrography - The branch of geology dealing with the description and systematic classification
of rocks, especially by microscopic examination of thin sections. Petrography is a subfield of
Igneous petrology is the study of melts (magma) and the rocks that crystallize from such melts,
encompassing an understanding
of the processes involved in melting and subsequent rise, evolution, crystallization, and eruption or
of the eventual rocks.
Introduction to Igneous Rocks
An igneous rock is any crystalline or glassy rock that forms from cooling of a magma.
A magma consists mostly of liquid rock matter, but may contain crystals of various minerals,
and may contain a gas phase that may be dissolved in the liquid or may be present as a separate
gas phase.
Magma can cool to form an igneous rock either on the surface of the Earth - in which case it
produces a volcanic or extrusive igneous rock, or beneath the surface of the Earth, - in which
case it produces a plutonic or intrusive igneous rock.
The preferred method for classifying any rock type (igneous,
sedimentary, or metamorphic) is based on texture and
composition (the latter usually in terms of mineral
Phaneritic The majority of crystals that compose the rock
are readily visible with the naked eye (> ~0.1 mm). If a rock
exhibits phaneritic texture, it typically crystallized slowly
beneath the surface of the Earth and may be called plutonic,
or intrusive.
The grain size of phaneritic rocks may be further subdivided
as follows:
Fine grained < 1 mm diameter (< sugar granules)
Medium grained 15 mm diameter (sugar to pea sized)
Coarse grained 550 mm diameter
Very coarse grained > 50 mm diameter (the lower size limit
Aphanitic Most of the crystals are too small to be seen readily
with the naked eye (< ~0.1 mm). If a rock is aphanitic, it
crystallized rapidly at the Earths surface and may be called
volcanic, or extrusive.
Fragmental The rock is composed of pieces of disaggregated
igneous material, deposited and later amalgamated. the
fragments themselves may include pieces of preexisting
(predominantly igneous) rock, crystal fragments, or glass.
Fragmental rocks are typically the result of a volcanic
explosion or collapse and are collectively called pyroclastic.
all igneous rocks are composed principally of silicate minerals, which are
most commonly those included in Bowens Series: quartz, plagioclase,
alkali feldspar, muscovite, biotite, hornblende, pyroxene, and olivine.
Of these, the first four are felsic minerals (from feldspar + silica), and
the latter four are mafic (from magnesium + ferric iron).
Rocks with especially high magnesium and iron concentrations are
called ultramafic.
Rocks with compositions between those of granite and basalt are called
intermediate rocks.
Generally, felsic refers to the light-colored silicates (feldspars, quartz,
feldspathoids), whereas mafic refers to the darker ones, but composition
has precedence (e.g., smoky quartz and dark feldspars are felsic).
In addition to these principal minerals, there may also be a number of
accessory minerals, present in small quantities, usually consisting of
apatite, zircon, titanite, epidote, an oxide or a sulfide, or a silicate
alteration product such as chlorite.
The names of common igneous rocks are based on the
minerals and texture of a rock. In this figure, a minerals
abundance in a rock is proportional to the thickness of its
colored band beneath the rock name. If a rock has a fine
grain texture, its name is found in the top row of rock
names; if it has a coarse grain texture, its name is in the
second row.

The names of common igneous rocks are based on the

minerals and texture of a rock.
Chemical compositions, minerals,
and typical
colors of common igneous rocks.


(Norman Bowen--1915)
The end product, the actual rock
formed, is never the same
composition as the original melt

Mineral stability field--the pressure

and temperature range over which a
mineral is stable A. Two types of
reactions 1. Discontinuous reaction--
early formed minerals react
discontinuously with the melt to form
new minerals with different structures
and chemistries

2. Continuous reaction--early formed

minerals react continuously with the
melt to form new minerals with the
same structure, but different
Fe, Mg, Si, O = dunite
Fe, Mg, Si, O, Ca, Al = gabbro =
Fe, Mg, Si, O, Ca, Al, K, Na = all the

5 - 10% of the melt would form


A. Fractional (partial) crystallization--

process by which early-formed
crystals are physically separated from
the melt

B. Crystal settling--early formed

crystals sink
e.g. olivine density ~ 3.27-4.37

C. Crystal floating--early formed

crystals float
e.g. anorthite density ~ 2.62 - 2.76
A. Sills--concordant with layering of
country rock, tabular

B. Dikes--discordant, tabular

C. Lopoliths--spoon shaped, concave


D. Laccolith--spoon shaped, concave


ous. The minerals at the top of the illustration (given aside) are first to crystallize and so the temperature gradient can be r
e chart also easily shows the stability of minerals with the ones at bottom being most stable and the ones at top being quic
in a mass of magma, are most unstable at the Earth's surface and quickest to weather because the surface is most differe
the International Union of Geological
Sciences (IUGS) THE IUGS