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All About Rocks

What's in a Rock?

Rocks are made up of one or more minerals. Minerals are inorganic (they were never alive) and have an internal structure and chemical composition. These are the solid materials that make up the layers of the Earth. Minerals grow in specific geologic environments ranging from deep within the Earth (higher temperatures and pressures), to near the surface (lower temperatures and pressures). Each mineral has a distinctive set of chemical and physical properties that makes it unique. See our Florida Rocks & Minerals page for more information about what you can find in Florida.

Types of Rocks

There are three major rock types: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. Igneous rocks, such as granite or basalt, form as a result of a magma (molten rock) that has cooled to form a variety of interlocking crystals. Erosion and weathering cause sediment in rivers and beaches, which over time, can built up and become cemented and compacted to form sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone. Another type of sedimentary rock is limestone, which is made up of small calcite particles formed by marine organisms that build up large reefs in the oceans. Metamorphic rocks form due to changes in the temperature and pressure resulting from a changing geologic environment. For example, if limestone undergoes an intense amount of heat, it becomes the metamorphic rock, marble.

  

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Last Modified:
May 23, 2017 - 9:59am

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