Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

What do you mean by rocks? Name the three major classes of rocks.

Rocks are naturally occurring solid substances composed of minerals, mineraloids, or organic materials. They are a fundamental component of the Earth’s crust and provide insights into the geological history and processes of our planet. Rocks can vary in size from tiny mineral grains to massive mountain ranges.

The three major classes of rocks are:

  1. Igneous Rocks: Igneous rocks form from the solidification and cooling of molten rock material, known as magma or lava. They can be classified into two main types:
    • Intrusive (Plutonic) Igneous Rocks: These rocks form beneath the Earth’s surface as magma cools slowly. Examples include granite and diorite.
    • Extrusive (Volcanic) Igneous Rocks: These rocks form on the Earth’s surface as lava cools rapidly. Examples include basalt and pumice.
  2. Sedimentary Rocks: Sedimentary rocks are formed through the accumulation and compaction of sediments, which can include fragments of preexisting rocks, minerals, organic matter, and chemical precipitates. They often preserve evidence of past environments and events. Examples include limestone, sandstone, and shale.
  3. Metamorphic Rocks: Metamorphic rocks are created from preexisting rocks (either igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks) that undergo changes in response to high temperature, pressure, or chemically active fluids. These changes result in the formation of new minerals and textures. Examples include marble (from limestone) and schist (from shale or granite).

These three major rock classes are part of the rock cycle, which describes how rocks continuously change and transform from one type to another over geological time. The rock cycle involves processes such as weathering, erosion, sedimentation, heat and pressure, melting, and solidification. It plays a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s surface and maintaining geological diversity.