Metamorphic Rock Pressure & Heat Experiment

Metamorphic rocks are the rocks that were igneous or sedimentary and change either physically or chemically by heat, pressure or hot, mineral-rich water. The term metamorphic comes from the Greek words “meta” which means change and “morph” which means form. This is a great outdoor experiment for colder climates or indoors if you have a shaved ice machine. With this experiment, you can see how pressure and heat can change a rock using this this simple experiment with snow or ice chips!

The Fizz Test for Limestone & Marble Rocks

Many rocks can look alike. Sometimes telling the difference between a limestone or marble and other rocks such as shale and quartzite can be difficult. One way geologists test the rocks is by performing the acid or “Fizz” test. Calcite is the main component of limestone rocks and its varieties like oolitic limestone, fossiliferous limestone, coquina and marble. The calcite mineral is made of calcium carbonate which reacts with acid. Other varieties of calcium carbonate minerals such as aragonite and dolomite will also fizz during this test.

Ask-a-Geologist Q&A #16: What types of rocks were changed by high temperature and high pressure?

Cory wrote to us and asked: What rocks are changed by high pressure and high temperature? Metamorphic rocks are the rocks that change either physically or chemically by heat and pressure. The term metamorphic comes from the Greek words “meta” which means change and “morph” which means form. Metamorphism is a solid state change meaning that the minerals within the rock recrystallize in response to heat, pressure and the chemical reaction with hot fluids without melting the original rock.

Ask-a-Geologist #15: What notes do I take when I find rocks and minerals?

Ellie wrote to us and asked what notes she should take when she finds rocks and minerals. Geologists use fancy notebooks with waterproof paper but a simple notebook and pen will work just fine. Watch this video to find out what notes to take and how to organize your notebook for your collection.

Ask-a-Geologist Video #11: Why do pumice and scoria have holes and granite does not?

Hi everyone, today we have another great ask-a-geologist question from one of our fabulous readers. Peter wrote to us and asked: Granite, pumice, and scoria are igneous rocks, but why doesn’t granite have airholes, but the other two do?

Ask-a-Geologist #10: What Are The Remains Of Once Living Organisms Found In Sedimentary Rocks?

Fossils are the remains or impressions of once living organisms that you can find in sedimentary rocks. There are two basic types of fossils that geologists and paleontologists talk about. These are body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are a real body part of an animal such as a dinosaur bone or a shark tooth. A trace fossil is something that shows evidence that something was there such as tracks, burrows, trails, molds, casts, and impressions.

Help! How do I use my new My Rockin’ Collection Rock or Mineral Kit?

I’m so glad you are excited about your new My Rockin’ Collection rock and mineral kit. Your kit has everything you need to identify and learn about your samples. To add to the fun, I created four short articles about using the tools in your My Rockin’ Collection junior or deluxe rock and mineral kits to add to your geology experience.

Ask-A-Geologist #8: What is obsidian rock used for?

Hi everyone! Today I am back with another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about obsidian. John asks: What is obsidian rock used for?

Ask-A-Geologist #6: What term is used for metamorphic rocks with a banded texture?

Hi everyone! Today we have another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about metamorphic rocks. Jason asks: What term is used for metamorphic rocks with a banded texture?

Five Tips for Teaching Rock Identification to Middle and High School Students

Middle and high school students usually have a limited background in rock identification from elementary school. Elementary students focus on the three basic types of rocks and how they form. Middle and high school students can graduate to identifying different rock samples within the three basic types.