Plate tectonics (Part 5): A simple key to identifying rocks in the field

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Helen Gould (UK)

Following on from my articles on plate tectonics and the rock cycle, the tables below will hopefully be useful as an aide-mémoire to identify rock samples on your field trips.

This table is intended as a field guide for budding geologists. Take it with you – and have fun.
Fig. 1. (Right) Breccia; and (Left) Conglomerate.
Fig. 2. (Right) Desert sandstone; and (Left) Micaceous sandstone.
Fig. 3. (Right) Fliint; and (Left) Chalk.
Fig. 4. (Right) Oolitic limestone; and (Left) Crinoidal limestone.
Fig. 5. (Right) Siltstone; and (Left) Silt.
Fig. 6. (Right) Quartzite; and (Left) Clay.

Further reading

Introducing Metamorphism, by Ian Sanders, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh (2018), 148 pages (Paperback), ISBN: 9781780460642.

Introducing Mineralogy, by John Mason, Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh (2015), 118 pages (Paperback), ISBN: 978-17-80460-28-4.

Introducing Volcanology: A Guide to hot rocks, by Dougal Jerram, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh and London (2011), 118 pages (Paperback), ISBN: 978-19-03544-26-6.

Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts, by Graham Park, Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh (2012), 132 pages (Paperback), ISBN: 978-19-06716-26-4.

Planetary Geology: An Introduction (2nd edition), by Claudio Vita-Finzi and Dominic Fortes, Dunedin, Edinburgh (2015), 206 pages (Paperback), ISBN: 978-17-80460-15-4.

Rocks and minerals: The definitive visual guide, by Ronald Louis Bonewitz, Dorling Kindersley (2008), 356 pages (hardback), ISBN: 978-14-05328-31-9.

Other articles in this series comprise:
Plate tectonics (Part 1): What are they?
Plate tectonics (Part 2): A closer look
Plate tectonics (Part 3): The rock cycle
Plate tectonics (Part 4): More on the rock cycle
Plate tectonics (Part 5): A simple key to identifying rocks in the field

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