Broward College Rock Collections
A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition, and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth’s outer solid layer, the crust, and most of its interior, except for the liquid outer core and pockets of magma in the asthenosphere.
Rocks are usually grouped into three main groups: igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. Igneous rocks are formed when magma cools in the Earth’s crust, or lava cools on the ground surface or the seabed. Sedimentary rocks are formed by diagenesis or lithification of sediments, which in turn are formed by the weathering, transport, and deposition of existing rocks. Metamorphic rocks are formed when existing rocks are subjected to such high pressures and temperatures that they are transformed—something that occurs, for example, when continental plates collide.