This chapter discusses the rock cycle and each of the three major types of rocks that form on Earth. Separate sections cover igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks individually.
Metamorphic rocks start off as some kind of rock. The starting rock can be igneous, sedimentary or even another metamorphic rock. Heat and/or pressure then change the rock’s physical or chemical makeup.
During metamorphism a rock may change chemically. Ions move and new minerals form. The new minerals are more stable in the new environment. Extreme pressure may lead to physical changes like foliation. Foliation forms as the rocks are squeezed. If pressure is exerted from one direction, the rock forms layers. This is foliation. If pressure is exerted from all directions, the rock usually does not show foliation.
There are two main types of metamorphism: