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This diagram of Bowen's Reaction Series shows how the common silicate minerals crystalize at different temperatures.
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Bowen's Reaction Series

As magma cools, elements within it bond together to form crystals of minerals. However, not all minerals can form at the same time during cooling. Some minerals grow when magma is still pretty hot, while others grow when magma is cooler.

Bowen's Reaction Series describes when minerals form as magma cools. In this diagram, minerals that form at high temperatures are at the top and minerals that form at lower temperatures are at the bottom.

Rocks that form from magma or lava cooled from high temperatures contain dark colored minerals such as amphibole and pyroxene. But when magma cools slowly, light colored minerals, like feldspar and quartz, which form at cooler temperatures, are able to grow.


Last modified June 17, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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