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Submitted as a partial fulfillment for the

Requirements in Physical Geology

Submitted by:

Aquino, Mark Joseph

De Ocampo, Ronnel
Ilagan, Jerico
Lanto, Mary Nicole
Manzo, Mc Doericko

A rock is hence defined as a solid naturally

occurring mass of consolidated mineral matter. This
is because rocks are made up of granules of
different minerals that form bigger and hard masses.

A rock is made up of two or more minerals

and can also contain organic compounds. Rocks
occur in different shapes, colors, weights, strengths,
sizes, and texture. Rocks also change from one form
to another and differ from one region to another
because of the rock cycle. These changes usually
take thousands or millions of years. Rocks are also
mainly porous or non-porous in nature.

To geologists, a rock is a natural substance

composed of solid crystals of different minerals that
have been fused together into a solid lump. The
minerals may or may not have been formed at the
same time. What matters is that natural processes
glued them all together.
The Three Rock Types

1. Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks form from the cooling of

magma – molten materials in the earth’s crust. From
the terminology itself, igneous means from fire or
heat. Molten materials are found below the earth
crust and are normally subjected to extreme
pressure and temperatures – up to 1200° Celsius.
Because of the extreme heat levels, igneous rocks
do not contain organic matter or fossils.


Igneous Rock Type: Intrusive

Related to: Rhyolite, pegmatite, syenite
Chemistry: Acidic
Color: White, pink, orange, gray, black
Texture: Phaneritic (easy to see crystals)
Origins: Orogenic Plutons
Common Minerals: Quartz, feldspars, hornblende
and micas Accessory
Minerals: Tourmaline, phosphates, rare earth
oxides, beryl, topaz, zircons, augite, sphene and
Uses: Building material, decorative counter tops,
tiles, tombstones, roads, jewelry, curling stones,

Granite is a common type of felsic intrusive

igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in
texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink,
or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy.
The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a
grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of
such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking,
granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and
60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total
feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although
commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a
wider range of coarse grained igneous rocks
containing quartz and feldspar.


Class: Igneous Rocks

Etymology: From early 19th century coined in
French, formed irregularly from Greek diorizein
Sub-Class: Durable Rock, Hard Rock Group:
Plutonic Other Categories: Coarse Grained Rock,
Medium Grained Rock, Opaque
Rock Texture: Phaneritic
Durability: Durable
Appearance: Shiny Interior
Uses: Decorative Aggregates, Interior Decoration
Exterior Uses: As Building Stone, As Facing Stone,
Decoration Formation: Diorite is a coarse-grained
intrusive igneous rock which contains large
interlocking and randomly oriented crystals and
forms when molten lava does not reach the Earth’s
surface and cools down in the Earth’s crust.
Mineral Content: Albite, Amphibole, Apatite,
Biotite, Feldspar, Hornblade, Ilmenite, Magnetite,
Muscovite or Illite, Olivine, Plagioclase, Pyroxene,
Quartz, Sulfides, Titanite, Zircon
Hardness: 6-7
Grain Size: Medium to Coarse Grained
Streak: Bluish Black Specific Gravity: 2.8-3
Transparency: Opaque
Density: 2.8-3 g/cm^3
Resistance: Heat Resistant, Pressure Resistant,
Wear Resistant

Diorite is an intrusive igneous rock

composed principally of the silicate minerals
plagioclase feldspar (typically andesine), biotite,
hornblende, and/or pyroxene. The chemical
composition of diorite is intermediate, between that
of mafic gabbro and felsic granite. Diorite is usually
grey to dark-grey in colour, but it can also be black
or bluish-grey, and frequently has a greenish cast. It
is distinguished from gabbro on the basis of the
composition of the plagioclase species; the
plagioclase in diorite is richer in sodium and poorer
in calcium. Diorite may contain small amounts of
quartz, microcline, and olivine. Zircon, apatite,
titanite, magnetite, ilmenite, and sulfides occur as
accessory minerals. Minor amounts of muscovite
may also be present. Varieties deficient in
hornblende and other dark minerals are called
leucodiorite. When olivine and more iron-rich
augite are present, the rock grades into ferrodiorite,
which is transitional to gabbro. The presence of
significant quartz makes the rock type quartz-diorite
(>5% quartz) or tonalite (>20% quartz), and if
orthoclase (potassium feldspar) is present at greater
than 10 percent, the rock type grades into
monzodiorite or granodiorite. A dioritic rock
containing feldspathoid mineral/s and no quartz is
termed foid-bearing diorite or foid diorite according
to content.


Class: Volcanic igneous rock

Color: Black or grayish-black, sometimes with a
greenish or reddish crust.

Basalt is a dark-colored, fine-grained,

igneous rock composed mainly of plagioclase and
pyroxene minerals. It most commonly forms as an
extrusive rock, such as a lava flow, but can also
form in small intrusive bodies, such as an igneous
dike or a thin sill. It has a composition similar to
gabbro. Basalt is an igneous volcanic-rock. It is
made from extremely finegrains of crystals which
are too small to see with the naked eye. Basalt is the
principal rock of the ocean floor. One of the best
studied basaltic volcanoes is called Mauna Loa and
it forms much of the island of Hawaii.


Color: Black is the most common color of obsidian.

However, it can also be brown, tan, or green.
Rarely, obsidian can be blue, red, orange, or yellow.
Igneous Rock Type: Extrusive rock
Hardness: 5.5
Uses: Used in making opal doublets and opal
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic
glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is
produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano
cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth. Obsidian
is commonly found within the margins of rhyolitic
lava flows known as obsidian flows, where the
chemical composition (high silica content) induces
a high viscosity and polymerization degree of the
lava. The inhibition of atomic diffusion through this
highly viscous and polymerized lava explains the
lack of crystal growth. Obsidian is hard and brittle;
it therefore fractures with very sharp edges, which
were used in the past in cutting and piercing tools,
and it has been used experimentally as surgical
scalpel blades.


Class: Extrusive Igneous Rock

Color: Light to dark gray

Andesite is the name used for a family of

fine-grained, extrusive igneous rocks that are
usually light to dark gray in color. They often
weather to various shades of brown, and these
specimens must be broken for proper examination.

Andesite is rich in plagioclase feldspar

minerals and may contain biotite, pyroxene,
oramphibole. Andesite usually does not
contain quartz orolivine.

Andesite is typically found in lava flows

produced by stratovolcanoes. Because these lavas
cooled rapidly at the surface, they are generally
composed of small crystals. The mineral grains are
usually so small that they cannot be seen without
the use of a magnifying device. Some specimens
that cooled rapidly contain a significant amount of
glass, while others that formed from gas-charged
lavas have a vesicular or amygdaloidal texture.


Rock Type: igneous (intrusive/plutonic)

Composition: feldspar, olivine, pyroxene,
Equivalent to: Basalt (extrusive/volcanic)
Environment: Gabbro is formed by magma that
cools very slowly into hard rock below or within the
Earth’s crust.
Distinguishing Characteristics: dark grey-black,
shiny surfaces of feldspar are visible.
Origin of your Samples: Tweed, Ontario
Uses: Gabbro is too fragile to use in construction.
Often chromium, nickel and platinum occur in
association with Gabbro.

Gabbro is composed mainly of calcium-

rich plagioclasefeldspar (usually labradorite or
bytownite) and clinopyroxene (augite). Minor
amounts of olivine and orthopyroxene might also be
present in the rock. This mineral composition
usually gives gabbro a black to very dark green
color. A minor amount of light-colored mineral
grains may also be present. Unlike many other
igneous rocks, gabbro usually contains very
little quartz. You can see a close-up view of gabbro
toward the bottom of this page.


Rock Type: igneous (extrusive/volcanic)

Composition: feldspar, quartz, mica, hornblend
Equivalent to: granite (intrusive/plutonic)
Environment: Rhyolite is formed by magma that
has reached the Earth’s surface (lava) and therefore
cools very quickly. Lava can explode out of a
volcano and make pumice or ash, or flow down its
side and make thick layers of fine grained rock or
volcanic glass.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Very fine grained,
pinkish-grey, sometimes with dark streaks. If
dipped in water and rubbed on a piece of paper,
rhyolite will likely tear the paper rather than leave a
muddy streak.
Origin of your Samples: Timmins, Ontario
Uses: Black volcanic glass called obsidian and
frothy-looking white coloured rock called pumice
are other forms of rhyolite. Pumice is used in
abrasives, concrete, stone-washing laundries, hand
soap, emery boards, and sandpaper and is used in

Many rhyolites form from granitic magma

that has partially cooled in the subsurface. When
these magmas erupt, arock with two grain sizes can
form. The large crystals that formed beneath the
surface are called phenocrysts, and the small
crystals formed at the surface are called

Rhyolite usually forms in continental or

continent-marginvolcanic eruptions where granitic
magma reaches the surface. Rhyolite is rarely
produced at oceanic eruptions.

Uses of Pumice: It is used as a lightweight

aggregate with Portland cement to produce
lightweight concrete. Pumice is also used in
cleansing powders, in abrasive soap (Lava soap),
and to produce "stone washed" blue jeans.

Pumice is an igneous rock that is highly

vesicular (i.e. it has lots of gas bubble holes). It is
generally of rhyolitic composition and light gray or
tan in color. It is very light in weight and will float
on water until the vesicles are full of water.


Background color: Yellow, Orange, or Red

Hardness: 5.5 to 6
"Fire Opal" is a term used for colorful,
transparent to translucent opal with a background
color that is a fire-like hue of yellow to orange to
red. It might or might not exhibit "play-of-color"
(the typical flashes of spectral colors that can be
seen when a precious opal is turned under a source
of light). Most fire opal does not have play-of-color.
The defining characteristic of fire opal is the fiery
hue of yellow, orange or red that serves as a
uniform background color throughout the stone.
These colors are thought to be caused by the
presence of small amounts of iron in the opal.

The value of a fire opal is based upon the

desirability and uniformity of its color, with yellow
being on the low end of value and red being on the
high end. Transparent stones are preferred over
translucent stones. The best fire opal typically sells
for prices that are much lower than the best precious
opal; however, fire opal specimens with exceptional
color will sell for higher prices than some
specimens of precious opal with less impressive

Fire opal has a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6,

which is soft enough that it can be scratched by
many objects that it might encounter if set into a
ring without a setting especially designed to protect
it. Fire opal also has a low tenacity, which means
that it can easily be chipped or broken. So, fire opal
is best used in jewelry such as earrings, pins, and
pendants that usually are not subjected to rough

Class: Igneous Rock

Content: fragments of bedrock, tephra, and volcanic

Tuff is an igneous rock that forms from the

products of anexplosive volcanic eruption I.n these
eruptions, the volcano blasts rock, ash, magma and
other materials from its vent. This ejecta travels
through the air and falls back to Earth in the area
surrounding the volcano. If the ejected material is
compacted and cemented into a rock, that rock will
be called "tuff."

Tuff is usually thickest near the volcanic

vent and decreases in thickness with distance from
the volcano. Instead of being a "layer," a tuff is
usually a "lens-shaped" deposit. Tuff can also be
thickest on the downwind side of the vent or on the
side of the vent where the blast was directed.

Some tuff deposits are hundreds of meters

thick and have a total eruptive volume of many
cubic miles. That enormous thickness can be from a
single eruptive blast or, more commonly, from
successive surges of a single eruption - or eruptions
that were separated by long periods of time.


Class: Igneous Rock

Color: Black or gray to deep reddish brown

Scoria is a dark-colored igneous rock with

abundant round bubble-like cavities known as
vesicles. It ranges in color from black or dark gray
to deep reddish brown. Scoria usually has a
composition similar to basalt, but it can also have a
composition similar to andesite.

Many people believe that small pieces of

scoria look like the ash produced in a coal furnace.
That has resulted in particles of scoria being called
"cinders" and the small volcanoes that erupt scoria
to be called "cinder cones."

Grain Usual Other Composition Rock

Size Color Type

fine dark glassy lava Obsidian

appearan glass


fine light many lava Pumic

small froth e
bubbles from
fine dark many lava Scoria
large froth
bubble from
s fluid
fine light contain high- Felsite
or s quartz silica
mixed lava
fine medium between medium- Andesit
or felsite silica lava e
mixe and
d basalt

fine dark has no low- Basalt

or quartz silica
mixe lava
mixed any large large Porphy
color grains grains of ry
in fine- feldspar,
graine quartz,
d pyroxen
matrix e or
coarse light wide feldspar Granit
range and e
of quartz
color with
and minor
grain mica,
size amphibo
le or
coarse light like feldspar Syenit
granite with e
but minor
withou mica,
t amphibo
quartz le or
coarse light to little plagiocla Tonali
medium or se and te
no alka quartz
li with
feldspa dark
r minerals
coarse mediu little low- Diorit
m to or no calcium e
dark quartz plagiocla
se and
coarse mediu no high- Gabbr
m to quartz; calcium o
dark may plagiocla
have se and
olivine dark
coarse dark dense; olivine Peridotit
always with e
has amphibo
olivine le
coar dark dense mostly Pyroxenit

se pyroxen e

e with
coar green dense at least Dunit
se 90 e
very any usually typically Pegmatite

coar color in granitic

se small
2. Metamorphic Rocks
Metamorphic rocks have been modified by
heat, pressure, and chemical processes, usually
while buried deep below Earth's surface. Exposure
to these extreme conditions has altered the
mineralogy, texture, and chemical composition of
the rocks.


Rock Type: metamorphic

Composition: quartz, feldspar, mica
Original Rock: granite, gabbro
Environment: Gneiss forms at high temperatures
and pressures. The temperature needed is about
700°C and the pressure needs to be about 12-15 kilo
bars, which is at a depth of about 40 km!
Distinguishing Characteristics: banded with
alternating layers of dark and light minerals.
Origin of your Samples: Parry Sound, Ontario
Uses: Gneiss is used in construction, aggregate and
for ornamental purposes.

Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic

rock identified by its bands and lenses of varying
composition, while other bands contain
granular minerals with an interlocking texture.
Other bands contain platy or elongate minerals with
evidence of preferred orientation. It is this banded
appearance and texture - rather than composition -
that define a gneiss.

Gneiss usually forms by regional

metamorphism at convergent plate boundaries. It is
a high-grade metamorphic rock in which mineral
grains recrystallized under intense heat and
pressure. This alteration increased the size of the
mineral grains and segregated them into bands, a
transformation which made the rock and its
minerals more stable in their metamorphic

Rock Type: metamorphic
Composition: very pure, recrystallized calcite
Original Rock: limestone or dolostone
Environment: Marble forms at many temperatures
and pressures.
Distinguishing Characteristics: medium to coarser
grained, light coloured and calcite crystals may be
visible. Holing these samples up to the light and
slowly turning them will reveal a slight sparkle.
Origin of your Samples: Madoc, Ontario
Uses: Marble is used for construction, countertops,
and carvings, and may be a source for magnesium.

Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms

when limestoneis subjected to the heat and pressure
of metamorphism. It is composed primarily of the
mineral calcite (CaCO3) and usually contains other
minerals, such as clay minerals,
micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite.
Under the conditions of metamorphism, the calcite
in the limestone recrystallizes to form a rock that is
a mass of interlocking calcite crystals. A related
rock, dolomitic marble, is produced
when dolostone is subjected to heat and pressure.

Most marble is made into either crushed

stone or dimension stone. Crushed stone is used as
an aggregate in highways, railroad beds, building
foundations, and other types of construction.
Dimension stone is produced by sawing marble into
pieces of specific dimensions. These are used in
monuments, buildings, sculptures, paving and other

Rock Type: metamorphic

Composition: recrystallized quartz grains
Original Rock: sandstone
Environment: Quartzite forms at many temperatures
and pressures.
Distinguishing Characteristics: light grey or white,
medium grained, very hard.
Origin of your Samples: Badgeley Island, Ontario
Uses: Quartzite is the raw material for the glass and
ceramics industries.

Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic

rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms
when a quartz-richsandstone is altered by the heat,
pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism.
These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and
the silica cement that binds them together. The
result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of
incredible strength.

The interlocking crystalline structure of

quartzite makes it a hard, tough, durable rock. It is
so tough that it breaks through the quartz grains
rather than breaking along the boundaries between


Rock Type: metamorphic

Composition: clay minerals
Original Rock: shale
Environment: Slate forms from the heat and
pressure when shale is buried deep in the crust. The
depth of burial to make slate out of shale is about 10
km. The temperature at that depth is about 200°C.
Distinguishing Characteristics: dark grey to black,
very fine grains (smooth to the touch), harder than
shale, distinct layers are visible.
Origin of your Samples: Vermont, USA
Uses: slate is used in flooring and roofing materials.
In the past, slate was used as chalkboards.

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated metamorphic

rock that is created by the alteration of shale or
mudstone by low-grade regional metamorphism. It
is popular for a wide variety of uses such as roofing,
flooring, and flagging because of its durability and
attractive appearance.

Class: Metamorphic
Composition: mainly of green, brown, or black
amphibole minerals and plagioclase feldspar. can
also contain minor amounts of other metamorphic
minerals such
as biotite, epidote, garnet, wollastonite,andalusite, st
aurolite, kyanite, and sillimanite. Quartz,magnetite,
and calcite can also be present in small amounts.
Uses: highway and railroad construction, facing
stone on the exterior of buildings, and used as floor
tile and panels indoors.

Amphibolite is a rock of convergent plate

boundaries where heat and pressure cause regional
metamorphism. It can be produced through the
metamorphism of mafic igneous rocks such
as basalt and gabbro, or from the metamorphism of
clay-rich sedimentary rocks such as marl or
graywacke. The metamorphism sometimes flattens
and elongates the mineral grains to produce a
schistose texture.

Class: Metamorphic
Composition: No specific composition

Hornfels is a fine-grained nonfoliated

metamorphic rock with no specific composition. It
is produced by contact metamorphism. Hornfels is a
rock that was "baked" while near a heat source such
as a magma chamber, sill, or dike.


Class: Metamorphic
Composition: Silicon dioxide
Grain size: Fine
Novaculite is a dense, hard, fine-grained
siliceous rock that breaks with a conchoidal
fracture. It forms from sediments deposited in
marine environments where organisms such as
diatoms (single-celled algae that secrete a hard shell
composed of silicon dioxide) are abundant in the
water. When the diatoms die, their silicon dioxide
shells fall to the seafloor. In some areas these
diatom shells are the primary ingredient of the
seafloor sediments.

During diagenesis (the transformation from

sediment to rock) the silicon dioxide from the
diatom shells is transformed into chalcedony (a
microcrystalline silicon dioxide). At this point the
rock is chert. The chert is transformed into
novaculite as further diagenesis and low-grade
metamorphism recrystallize the chalcedony into
microcrystalline quartz grains.


Class: Metamorphic
Grain size: Fine
Composition: Fine-grained mica
Phyllite is a foliate metamorphic rock that is
made up mainly of very fine-grained mica. The
surface of phyllite is typically lustrous and
sometimes wrinkled. It is intermediate in grade
between slate and schist.


Class: Metamorphic
Composition: Plate-shaped mineral grain

Schist is a foliated metamorphic rock made

up of plate-shaped mineral grains that are large
enough to see with an unaided eye. It usually forms
on a continental side of aconvergent plate
boundary where sedimentary rocks, such
as shales and mudstones, have been subjected to
compressive forces, heat, and chemical activity.
This metamorphic environment is intense enough to
convert the clay minerals of the sedimentary rocks
into platy metamorphic minerals such
as muscovite, biotite, andchlorite. To become schist,
a shale must be metamorphosed in steps
through slate and then throughphyllite. If the schist
is metamorphosed further, it might become a
granular rock known as gneiss.

A rock does not need a specific mineral

composition to be called “schist.” It only needs to
contain enough platy metamorphic minerals in
alignment to exhibit distinct foliation. This texture
allows the rock to be broken into thin slabs along
the alignment direction of the platy mineral grains.
This type of breakage is known as schistosity.


Class: Metamorphic
Composition: primarily of talc, with varying
amounts of chlorite, micas, amphiboles, carbonates,
and other minerals.
Color: gray, bluish, green, or brown

The name "soapstone" is often used in other

ways. Miners and drillers use the name for any soft
rock that is soapy or slippery to the touch. In the
craft marketplace, sculptures and ornamental
objects made from soft rocks.

Foliation Grain Usual Other Rock

Size Color Type
foliated fine light very Soapstone
foliated fine dark soft; Slate
nonfoli fine dark soft; Argillite
ated massive
foliated fine dark shiny; Phyllite
foliated coar mixe crushed Mylonite
se d and
dark stretche
and d
light fabric;
ed large
foliated coar mixe wrinkle Schist
se d d
dark foliatio
and n; often
light has
foliated coarse mixe banded Gneiss
foliated coarse mixe distorte Migmatite
d d
" layers
foliated coar dark mostly Amphib
se hornble olite
nonfoli fine green soft; Serpenti
ated ish shiny, nite
nonfoli fine dark dull Hornfels
ated or and
coar opaque
se colors,
nonfoli coar red dense; Eclogite
ated se and garnet
green and
nonfoli coar light soft; Marble
ated se calcite
e by the
nonfoli coar light quartz Quartzite
ated se (no
3. Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks are the second great rock

class. Whereas igneous rocks are born hot,
sedimentary rocks are born cool at the Earth's
surface, mostly under water. They usually consist of
layers or strata; hence they are also called stratified
rocks. Depending on what they're made of,
sedimentary rocks fall into one of three types.


Rock Type: sedimentary

Composition: grains of clay
Environment: Shale sediments are deposited in still
water (low energy) such as a lake or a deep, slow
Distinguishing Characteristics: dull, reddish- brown,
very fine grains (smooth to the touch), breaks
easily. If an edge is dipped in water and drawn
along a surface, shale will leave a muddy streak.
Origin of your Samples: Aldershot, Ontario
Uses: This shale is the raw material for the brick
manufacturing industry in Ontario.
Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that
forms from the compaction of silt and clay-size
mineral particles that we commonly call "mud."
This composition places shale in a category of
sedimentary rocks known as "mudstones." Shale is
distinguished from other mudstones because it is
fissile and laminated. "Laminated" means that the
rock is made up of many thin layers. "Fissile"
means that the rock readily splits into thin pieces
along the laminations.


Rock Type: sedimentary

Composition: grains of sand that can be feldspar or
quartz - the amount of other minerals, such as mica,
depend on how much weathering has occurred.
Environment: Already existing rocks are eroded and
the grains are transported and sorted by rivers. The
resulting sand is deposited on beaches, along
floodplains or in deltas, where it is eventually
buried by other sediments. This causes a slow
squeezing of the sediments. As the sediments are
compacted, fine clay helps to fuse the larger
particles together. The sediments are also cemented
by chemicals left by the water in the original
sediment. The presence of sandstone indicates that
there was water with fairly high energy (waves on a
beach or a fast moving river)
Distinguishing Characteristics: Coarse to very fine
grains, beige to grey colour, feels like sandpaper.
Origin of your Samples: Georgetown, Ontario
Uses: Sandstone is used for flagstone to line your
walkway or patio. It is also an important building

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed

of sand-size grains of mineral, rock, or organic
material. It also contains a cementing material that
binds the sand grains together and may contain a
matrix of silt- or clay-size particles that occupy the
spaces between the sand grains.

Sandstone is one of the most common types

of sedimentary rock and is found in sedimentary
basins throughout the world. It is often mined for
use as a construction material or as a raw material
used in manufacturing. In the subsurface, sandstone
often serves as an aquifer for groundwater or as a
reservoir for oil and natural gas.

Rock Type: sedimentary

Composition: mostly calcite
Environment: There are several ways for limestone
to form. Calcite dissolves easily in warm water but
when the concentration reaches a certain threshold,
the calcite comes out of solution and is deposited on
the sea floor as a chemical precipitate. The
precipitates can build up along with other sediments
or on their own and eventually form limestone.
Another way for limestone to form is by the build
up of the shells and skeletons of marine animals.
Distinguishing Characteristics: whitish-grey with a
chalky texture. There are no visible fossils in these
Origin of your Samples: Ingersoll, Ontario
Uses: This highly pure limestone is used as flux in
the steel making process and is used in the
production of glass. Other applications include
paper production, sugar refining, acid lake treatment
and flue gas desulphurisation. Limestone has
construction, agricultural and automotive
applications. It is also supplied to feed mills and
chicken farmers.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed
primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form
of the mineralcalcite. It most commonly forms in
clear, warm, shallow marine waters. It is usually an
organic sedimentary rock that forms from the
accumulation of shell, coral, algal, and fecal debris.
It can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed
by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake
or ocean water.

Most limestones form in shallow, calm,

warm marine waters. That type of environment is
where organisms capable of forming calcium
carbonate shells and skeletons can easily extract the
needed ingredients from ocean water. When these
animals die, their shell and skeletal debris
accumulate as a sediment that might be lithified into
limestone. Their waste products can also contribute
to the sediment mass. Limestones formed from this
type of sediment are biological sedimentary rocks.
Their biological origin is often revealed in the rock
by the presence of fossils.

Some limestones can form by direct

precipitation of calcium carbonate from marine or
fresh water. Limestones formed this way are
chemical sedimentary rocks. They are thought to be
less abundant than biological limestones.

Rock Type: sedimentary

Composition: dolomite and fossils
Metamorphoses to: marble
Environment: Sea water, high in magnesium, flows
through porous limestone and replaces some of the
calcium with magnesium turning limestone into
dolostone. Fossils are plants or animals that have
been preserved in rock as organic carbon, chitin, or
some mineral that replaced the original tissue.
When an animal or plant dies its body can end up
being buried by mud or other sediments. The hard
parts (skeleton, teeth, shell) and sometimes tissue
(leaves, flowers, muscle, cartilage) may be
preserved when the sediments become rock.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Grey with fossils
that are visible. Anything that looks like it was once
alive may be a fossil. Fossils are often the same
colour as the rocks in which they are found.
Origin of your Samples: Niagara Escarpment in
Milton, Ontario
Uses: Dolostone from the Niagara Escarpment is
used as high quality construction aggregates. It is
found in asphalt mixes for roads and streets, high
strength concrete mixes used for high-rise
residential buildings, bridge overpasses, sidewalks
and airport runways. Crushed dolostone is used to
create drainage layers under high volume roads and
is found in uncontaminated construction fill.


Rock Type: sedimentary

Composition: fragments of other rocks and minerals
cemented by silica, calcite, or iron oxide.
Environment: The rock fragments can be rounded
from being rolled along a stream bed or a beach
during transportation. If the fragments embedded in
the matrix are angular instead of rounded, the rock
is called a breccia (pronounced BRECH-i-a).
Distinguishing Characteristics: dark grey with
imbedded fragments
Origin of your Samples: Kirkland Lake, Ontario
Uses: conglomerate is used in the construction
Conglomerate can have a variety of
compositions. As a clastic sedimentary rock, it can
contain clasts of any rock material or weathering
product that is washed downstream or down current.
The rounded clasts of conglomerate can be mineral
particles such as quartz, or they can be sedimentary,
metamorphic, or igneous rock fragments. The
matrix that binds the large clasts together can be a
mixture of sand, mud, and chemical cement.


Rock Type: Sedimentary

Composition: large angular fragments

Breccia is a term most often used for

clastic sedimentary rocks that are composed of large
angular fragments (over two millimeters in
diameter). The spaces between the large angular
fragments can be filled with a matrix of smaller
particles or a mineral cement that binds the rock
Breccia forms where broken, angular
fragments of rock or mineral debris accumulate.
One possible location for breccia formation is at the
base of an outcrop where mechanical weathering
debris accumulates. Another would be in stream
deposits near the outcrop such as an alluvial fan.
Some breccias form as debris flow deposits. The
angular particle shape reveals that they have not
been transported very far (transport wears the sharp
points and edges of angular particles into rounded
shapes). After deposition, the fragments are bound
together by a mineral cement or by a matrix of
smaller particles that fills the spaces between the


Rock Type: Sedimentary

Color: Continuous color gradients exist between
white and black or between cream and brown.
Green, yellow, and red cherts are also common
Composition: microcrystalline silicon dioxide
Hardness: 7
Chert is a microcrystalline or
cryptocrystalline sedimentary rock material
composed of silicon dioxide (SiO2). It occurs as
nodules, concretionary masses, and as layered
deposits. Chert breaks with a conchoidal fracture,
often producing very sharp edges. Early people took
advantage of how chert breaks and used it to
fashion cutting tools and weapons. The name "flint"
is also used for this material.


Rock Type: Sedimentary

Composition: Silt-sized particle
Color: usually gray, brown, or reddish brown.
White, yellow, green, red, purple, orange, black,
and other colors occur.

Siltstone is a sedimentary rock composed

mainly of silt-sized particles. It forms where water,
wind, or ice deposit silt, and the silt is then
compacted and cemented into a rock.

Silt accumulates in sedimentary basins

throughout the world. It represents a level of
current, wave, or wind energy between where sand
and mud accumulate. These include fluvial, aeolian,
tidal, coastal, lacustrine, deltaic, glacial, paludal,
and shelf environments. Sedimentary structures
such as layering, cross-bedding, ripple marks,
erosional contacts, and fossils provide evidence of
these environments.

Siltstone is much less common

than sandstone . The rock units are usually thinner
and less extensive. Only rarely is one notable
enough to merit a stratigraphic name.


Rock Type: Sedimentary

Earth's most important iron ore deposits are

found insedimentary rocks. They formed from
chemical reactions that combined iron and oxygen
in marine and fresh waters. The two most important
minerals in these deposits are iron
oxides: hematite (Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4).
These iron ores have been mined to produce almost
every iron and steel object that we use today - from
paper clips to automobiles to the steel beams in

Hardn Grain Composition Other Rock

ess Size Type
hard coar clean white Sandsto
se quartz to ne
hard coar quartz usually Arkose
se and very
feldspar coarse
hard mixe mixed gray or Wacke/
or d sedimen dark Graywa
soft t with and cke
rock "dirty"
and clay
hard mixe mixed round Conglomerat

or d rocks rocks e

soft and in finer

sedimen sedime
t nt
hard mixe mixed sharp Breccia
or d rocks pieces
soft and in finer
sedimen sedime
t nt
hard fine very fine feels Siltsto
sand; no gritty ne
clay on
hard fine chalcedo no Chert
ny fizzing
soft fine clay splits Shale
mineral in
s layers
soft fine carbon black; Coal
soft fine calcite fizzes Limestone

soft coar dolomit no Dolomite

se or e fizzing rock

fine with
soft coar fossil mostly Coquina

se shells pieces
very coar halite salt Rock
soft se taste Salt
very coar gypsum white, Rock
soft se tan or Gypsum