Igneous and Sedimentary Rock Fun
The following igneous and sedimentary rock exercises were designed for elementary level science classes in Whitehall, Montana. Although the photographs are specific to southwestern Montana, the learning exercises are applicable to all geographic localities! Have fun learning about rocks!
1. There are two main categories of igneous rocks - those that have cooled inside the earth, and those that have cooled on the earth's surface. Click on the web site "Igneous Rock Types" and see if you can find the name for these two types of igneous rocks.
2. There are many types of intrusive igneous rocks. Look at the photographs of granite, diorite, and gabbro at the "Intrusive Rocks" web site . What kind of texture do you see in all the rock photographs? _________________________ Why do these rocks contain such large crystals? _______________________________________________________
3. The color of an igneous rock depends upon its mineral composition. Click on "Rock Minerals" and use this site's igneous rock chart to decide the main minerals in:
A. granite (a light-colored igneous rock) _____________________________
B. diorite (a medium-colored igneous rock) ___________________________
C. gabbro (a dark-colored igneous rock) _____________________________
4. Igneous intrusions are bodies of igneous rock that form when magma crystallizes underground. Go to the web site "Igneous Intrusions" and list three types of igneous intrusions:
5. Extrusive igneous rocks are formed from volcanic eruptions. Go to "Principal Types of Volcanoes" - and answer the following questions:
A. Look at the different types of volcanoes and write a brief description of each:
1. cinder cone ________________________________________________________
2. composite volcano __________________________________________________
3. stratovolcano ___________________________________________________
B. Now go to "Global Volcanism" and list two areas of volcanic
C. To understand the general distribution of volcanic areas on Earth, go to "Volcanoes Around the Earth" . Where are most volcanoes
6. There are many types of extrusive igneous rocks. Look at the hand sample photographs shown on the "Extrusive Rock Types" site. Which rocks shown are formed from volcanic ash? _________________________________________ What rock is formed from lava?
7. Go to the "Active Volcanoes" web site . Find two currently erupting volcanoes and list them here: ___________________________ and ________________________________ Are there volcanoes on other planets (go to the "Planetary Volcanoes" web site)? _________ If so, where would they be located?
8. Volcanoes can be both beneficial and hazardous to humans who live near them. Click on the "Volcano Hazards" web site and answer the following questions:
A. How are volcanoes beneficial to humans?
B. What kind of volcanic hazards might someone encounter?
9. The Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho has been called a supervolcano. Link to Jake Lowenstern's writings - "Super Volcano" based upon his watch at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory and please answer the following questions:
A. What is a supervolcano? _________________________________________________
B. When was the most recent caldera-forming eruption?
C. Do you think a large volcanic eruption is likely to occur within your lifetime?
Scientists believe that the Yellowstone region is still an area of powerful volcanic forces. Link to the "USGS Yellowstone" web site . From your reading on this site, list three geologic activities presently occurring within Yellowstone that indicate powerful volcanic forces are going on.
1. Please click on the "Rock Cycle" web site. Now look at the rock cycle diagram shown on this web site and find where weathering and transportation are labeled . How do weathering and transportation help to make new rocks?
2. Let’s continue on through the rock cycle. What is sediment?________________________ What does happen to sediment when it is buried, compacted, and/or cemented? __________________________________________________________________________
3. Now please go to the "Sediment Deposition" web site. is site. Look at the animated image showing sediment deposition. Why do you think sedimentary rocks are layered?
4. Some sedimentary rocks are formed from chemical components and/or broken shells in ocean water. Go to the "Sedimentary Rock" web site. Name two rocks that are formed in this way:
5. Coal is another type of sedimentary rock. Click on the "Coal" web site and read about coal. Please write a brief summary on how coal forms on the lines below:
6. Fossils can be found within sedimentary rocks. Click on"Montana Dinosaurs" to go to the Judith River Dinosaur Institute. Please find two fossils that interest you! List them below:
7. Indirect evidence of life can also be found preserved in sedimentary rocks. Go to the "Dinosaur Tracks" web site . What kind of dinosaur trace fossils might you find? List two dinosaur trace fossils that interest you: