|theImage.com     Notes on Basic Geology|
|Notes created & information organization based on the book:
"The Dynamic Earth - an introduction to physical geology"
Brian Skinner & Stephen C. Porter   (further book information here)
also look at www.wiley.com for additional resource information
|Volcanoes & Magma - Page 5|
All igneous rocks form from magma, but there are strong differences based on where they crystallize. Rocks formed on the earths surface (extrusive igneous rocks), and rocks formed inside the earth (intrusive igneous rocks) have unique textures and mineral compositions.
The size of mineral grains is a function of how fast it cools. The slower a rock mass cools the larger the individual crystal will become. Intrusive rocks are well insulated and cool very slowly. A coarse grained rock is called a phanerite, which means that the grains must be at least 2 mm in diameter and viewable by the naked eye.
Intrusive rock that contain really large (larger than ordinary) grains is called a pegmatite. Pegmatites are often locations where large fine mineral specimens are found. The average grain diameters must be at least 2 cm for the body to be called a pegmatite.
Extrusive igneous rocks crystallize much faster as they have immediate contact with the atmosphere and/or water. They form finer grain structures and are called affinities. If an igneous rock is quench cooled, it may form a glass not having sufficient time to crystallize at all. This is called obsidian (volcanic glass). Aphanites have grain sizes less than 2 mm and require some kind of magnification to see. One exception is a rock type called a pophyry, it is made up of large course grains cemented by the fine grain material. The large grains then are called phenocryst.
What does this indicate?