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Fractured pegmatite intrusion

Fractured pegmatite intrusion

C003/7048

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Credit

MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL SZOENYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fractured pegmatite intrusion. Close-up of a pegmatite (white band) intrusion into orthogneiss rock, torn apart by a fault caused by an earthquake. Pegmatite 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. At some point, an earthquake fractured the rock. Intrusions like this help determine the relative ages of the rocks. Photographed on the Verzasca River.

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