MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pegmatite intrusion. Pegmatite (white band) is a type of igneous rock. An igneous rock rises in a molten state from depth and solidifies as it intrudes into a pre-existing rock or reaches the surface. Here, the pegmatite has intruded into orthogneiss, a metamorphic rock that formed earlier when an igneous rock was altered by heat and pressure at depth. This rock formation is located in Switzerland, It was lifted to the surface and exposed by river erosion, both processes occurring as the Swiss Alps formed. Intrusions like this help determine the relative ages of the rocks. Photographed on the Verzasca River.
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