Difference Wiki

Igneous Rocks vs. Metamorphic Rocks: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on February 7, 2024
Igneous rocks form from cooled magma or lava, while metamorphic rocks arise from existing rocks transformed by heat and pressure.

Key Differences

Igneous rocks are formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava, a process that creates a distinctive crystalline structure. Metamorphic rocks, on the other hand, are created when existing rocks are subjected to significant heat and pressure, leading to physical and chemical changes without melting.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024
The classification of igneous rocks is based largely on their mineral composition and the rate at which they cooled, resulting in either intrusive (slow cooling) or extrusive (rapid cooling) varieties. Metamorphic rocks are classified based on the texture and composition changes due to metamorphism, resulting in varied types like schist or gneiss.
Huma Saeed
Feb 07, 2024
Igneous rocks often display a granular texture and can be either coarse-grained, as seen in granite, or fine-grained, as in basalt. Metamorphic rocks, in contrast, are characterized by their foliated or non-foliated textures, with foliation resulting from the alignment of minerals under pressure.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024
In igneous rocks, the crystal size is typically indicative of the cooling history, with larger crystals suggesting slower cooling deep within the Earth. Metamorphic rocks often show signs of deformation and recrystallization, indicating the intense conditions they were exposed to.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024
Examples of igneous rocks include granite and basalt, commonly found in volcanic regions, while examples of metamorphic rocks include slate and marble, often used in construction and sculpture due to their strength and aesthetics.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Formation

From cooled magma or lava
From transformation of existing rocks
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

Texture

Granular, coarse or fine-grained
Foliated or non-foliated
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

Cooling Rate

Intrusive (slow) or extrusive (fast)
N/A (not formed from cooling)
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

Common Examples

Granite, Basalt
Slate, Marble
Harlon Moss
Feb 07, 2024

Uses

Construction, decorative stone
Construction, sculpture
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Igneous Rocks and Metamorphic Rocks Definitions

Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks often have a crystalline texture due to the cooling process.
The crystalline structure of igneous rocks is evident in granite's granular appearance.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

Metamorphic Rocks

They exhibit foliated or non-foliated textures based on mineral alignment.
Slate, used for roofing tiles, is a foliated metamorphic rock.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

Igneous Rocks

These rocks can vary widely in mineral composition and color.
Obsidian, a dark-colored igneous rock, is used for ornamental purposes.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 20, 2024

Metamorphic Rocks

These rocks undergo physical and chemical changes without melting.
Quartzite, a metamorphic rock, is formed from the metamorphism of quartz sandstone.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks form from the solidification of molten magma or lava.
Granite, an igneous rock, is commonly used for kitchen countertops.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks are typically strong and durable, suitable for various construction uses.
Slate's durability makes it a popular choice for flooring and outdoor walkways.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 20, 2024

Igneous Rocks

They are categorized into intrusive and extrusive types based on their cooling location.
Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock found in many volcanic regions.
Huma Saeed
Jan 20, 2024

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks are formed from existing rocks transformed by heat and pressure.
Marble, a metamorphic rock, is used extensively in sculpture and architecture.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks are among the most abundant rock types on Earth's surface.
Igneous rocks like pumice are often found near volcanic areas.
Harlon Moss
Jan 20, 2024

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks can originate from igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks.
Gneiss, formed from granite, is a common metamorphic rock.
Sara Rehman
Jan 20, 2024

FAQs

What is the texture of igneous rocks?

They often have a granular texture, either coarse or fine-grained.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

What defines an igneous rock?

Igneous rocks form from cooled and solidified magma or lava.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

How are metamorphic rocks created?

They form from existing rocks transformed under heat and pressure.
Huma Saeed
Feb 07, 2024

How do intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks differ?

Intrusive rocks cool slowly inside the Earth, while extrusive rocks cool rapidly on the surface.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 07, 2024

Are igneous rocks common on Earth's surface?

Yes, they are among the most abundant rock types on Earth's surface.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 07, 2024

What are examples of igneous rocks?

Examples include granite and basalt.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

What are some uses of metamorphic rocks?

They are used in construction, sculpture, and decorative arts.
Harlon Moss
Feb 07, 2024

Is granite an igneous or metamorphic rock?

Granite is an igneous rock.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024

What causes the foliation in metamorphic rocks?

Foliation is caused by the alignment of minerals under pressure.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 07, 2024

Can metamorphic rocks originate from igneous rocks?

Yes, metamorphic rocks can form from igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024

Do metamorphic rocks have a specific texture?

They exhibit foliated or non-foliated textures.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

What is the importance of igneous rocks in geology?

They provide insights into Earth's geological processes and history.
Harlon Moss
Feb 07, 2024

Can igneous rocks be transformed into metamorphic rocks?

Yes, under sufficient heat and pressure.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024

Are igneous rocks used in building construction?

Yes, they are commonly used in construction and as decorative stones.
Harlon Moss
Feb 07, 2024

Is marble an igneous or metamorphic rock?

Marble is a metamorphic rock.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024

Can igneous rocks form underground?

Yes, intrusive igneous rocks form underground.
Janet White
Feb 07, 2024

Are all metamorphic rocks hard and durable?

Most are hard and durable, but their properties can vary.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

What factors influence the characteristics of metamorphic rocks?

The original rock type, temperature, pressure, and fluid activities influence their characteristics.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

Do metamorphic rocks always have a layered appearance?

Not always; some have non-foliated textures.
Sara Rehman
Feb 07, 2024

How are metamorphic rocks identified?

Through their distinct textures, mineral composition, and formation history.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 07, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons