Shop Windows to the Universe

With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
Deep underground, zones of metamorphism form around the hot magma of batholiths.
L.Gardiner/Windows Original

Contact Metamorphism

Heat changes rocks that come in contact with hot magma or lava. This is called contact metamorphism.

Either an intrusion of hot magma deep underground alters the surrounding rocks that it intruded into, or lava erupting at a volcano alters the rock that it erupts onto. The amount of rock that is changed depends on how much magma or lava there is producing the heat. For instance, when a large amount of magma intrudes into rock creating a batholith, it alters the rock that it is in close contact with. The zone of altered rock is called an aureole and it may cover more than 100 square kilometers of land.

Metamorphism of rocks that happens at much larger spatial scales is called regional metamorphism.


Last modified October 13, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

TES XXVI, 3 fall 2010 The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Magma

If you could travel to the center of the Earth, you would find that it gets hotter and hotter as you travel deeper. The heat is naturally produced by decay of radioactive elements. Within the Earthís...more

Whatís That Mineral?

Each type of mineral is made of a unique group of elements that are arranged in a unique pattern. However, to identify minerals you donít need to look at the elements with sophisticated chemical tests....more

Quartz

Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earthís crust. It is a member of the quartz group, which includes less common minerals such as opal, crystobalite, and coesite. Silica (Si) and Oxygen (O) are...more

Mica Minerals

Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle! They are often found in igneous rocks such as granite and metamorphic rocks such as schist. They sparkle because light is reflected on their flat surfaces, which...more

Feldspar

Feldspar is the most common mineral in the Earthís crust, so you are very likely to find it in the rocks you collect! It is found it all of the three rock types, but is most common in intrusive igneous...more

Olivine

Olivine looks like little green crystals. It is typically found in some igneous and metamorphic rocks. Often the crystals are so small that you need to use your hand lens or magnifying glass to see them...more

Type of Minerals

So far, over 2000 minerals have been found, and every year new ones are discovered. This is a pretty overwhelming number of different types of minerals, however, you don't need to know them all to be...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA