Chapter 7: Metamorphism: A Process of Change flashcards |

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burial metamorphism

Metamorphism due to the increase in temperature and pressure in a rock when it has been buried to a depth of several kilometers.

contact metamorphism

Metamorphism caused by heat conducted into country rock from an igneous intrusion.

differential stress

A condition causing a material to experience a push or pull in one direction of a greater magnitude than the push or pull in another direction; in some cases, differential stress can result in shearing.

dynamic metamorphism

Metamorphism that occurs as a consequence of shearing alone, with no change in temperature or pressure.

Dynamothermal metamorphism

Metamorphism that involves heat, pressure, and shearing.


The process (involving uplift and erosion) that returns deeply buried rocks to the surface.


Layering formed as a consequence of the alignment of mineral grains, or of compositional banding in a metamorphic rock.


A compositionally banded metamorphic rock typically composed of alternating dark- and light-colored layers.


Rock that undergoes metamorphism simply because of a change in temperature, without being subjected to differential stress.

hydrothermal metamorphism

The change that occurs in a rock due to interaction with high-temperature water solutions.


A metamorphic rock composed of calcite and transformed from a protolith of limestone.


Conglomerate that has undergone metamorphism, but in which clasts are still recognizable; typically the clasts are stretched or flattened.

metamorphic aureole

The region around a pluton, stretching tens to hundreds of meters out, in which heat transferred into the country rock and metamorphosed the country rock.

metamorphic facies

A set of metamorphic mineral assemblages indicative of metamorphism under a specific range of pressures and temperatures.

metamorphic foliation

A fabric defined by parallel surfaces or layers that develop in a rock as a result of metamorphism; schistocity and gneissic layering are examples.

metamorphic grade

An informal designation of the degree to which a rock has undergone metamorphism; high-grade rocks have endured higher temperatures than low-grade rocks.

metamorphic mineral

A mineral formed by solid-state transitions under metamorphic conditions.

metamorphic rock

Rock that forms when preexisting rock changes into rock as a result of an increase in pressure and temperature and/or shearing under elevated temperatures; metamorphism occurs without the rock first becoming a melt or a sediment.

metamorphic texture

The arrangement of grains (e.g., preferred orientation) formed as a result of metamorphism.

metamorphic zone

The region between two metamorphic isograds, typically named after an index mineral found within the region.


The process by which one kind of rock transforms into a different kind of rock.


The process by which a rocks overall chemical composition changes during metamorphism because of reactions with hot water that bring in or remove elements.


A fine-grained metamorphic rock with a foliation caused by the preferred orientation of very fine-grained mica.

preferred mineral orientation

The metamorphic texture that exists where platy grains lie parallel to one another and/or elongate grains align in the same direction.


The original rock from which a metamorphic rock formed.


A metamorphic rock composed of quartz and transformed from a protolith of quartz sandstone.

regional metamorphism

Metamorphism of a broad region, usually the result of deep burial during an orogeny.


A medium- to coarse-grained metamorphic rock that possesses schistosity.


An older, interior region of a continent.

shock metamorphism

Solid-state changes in rock that result from the extreme pressure accompanying a meteorite impact.


Fine-grained, low-grade metamorphic rock, formed by the metamorphism of shale.

thermal metamorphism

Metamorphism caused by heat conducted into country rock from an igneous intrusion.

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