Metamorphic rocks

Metamorphic rocks are formed from other rocks that are changed because of heat or pressure. They are not made from molten rock – rocks that do melt form igneous rocks instead.

Earth movements can cause rocks to be deeply buried or squeezed. As a result, the rocks are heated and put under great pressure. They do not melt, but the minerals they contain are changed chemically, forming metamorphic rocks.

Metamorphic rocks are formed from layers of sedimentary rocks are put under pressure and heated up by magma. Metamorphic rocks form close to magma chambers, but not close enough to melt.Metamorphic rocks may form from rocks heated by nearby magma

What are metamorphic rocks like?

Marble is formed from limestone and contains tiny interlocking grains. The layers in slate, formed from shale, are arranged in layers. This makes slate useful for making roof tiles because it can be split into separate flat sheets.

Slate on the roof of a house
Slate is a metamorphic rock that can be split into thin sheets, which makes it ideal for roof tiles

Metamorphic rocks rarely contain fossils. Any that were present in the original sedimentary rock will not normally survive the heat and pressure.

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