Deep underground, zones of metamorphism form around the hot magma of batholiths.
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.
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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!
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