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By Menzies, Bruce Keith; Ng, C. W. W.; Simons, N. E

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specializes in the 3 significant geotechnical demanding situations of static soil-structure interplay difficulties: Deep foundations - piles, barrettes, Multi-propped deep excavations, and Bored and open face tunnels Read more...

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Example text

Geological classifications of igneous rocks So far in this chapter, only a few names have been used for igneous rocks. In order to understand how to identify and name igneous rocks the civil engineer must first consider how geologists classify this family of rocks. Igneous rocks are classified on the basis of texture and composition. Texture refers to the size, shape and arrangement of the mineral grains. The principal textures in igneous rocks are: . . Phaneritic [Greek phaneros, ‘visible’] (medium–coarse-grained) – the grains are in the sand to fine gravel size range and hence can be seen with the unaided eye.

How do igneous rocks differ from one another? They can differ in terms of the size of the particles which are fused together to form the rock, and the texture of the rock, and these differences are outlined here. If magma is cooled rapidly, finer-grained crystals are formed. If it is cooled extremely rapidly, crystals are not formed at all, instead producing glass. So the rate of cooling controls the grain size in the first instance, and to some extent the texture. Slowly cooled rocks are found in the roots of mountain chains because the magma chamber would have cooled slowly, giving rise to the formation of relatively large crystals (>2 mm).

8 Ocean–continent convergence (after Hamblin and Christiansen, 2001). , Upper Saddle River, NJ override the oceanic plate (Hamblin and Christiansen, 2001). The geometry of the subduction zone is such that the magmatic arc forms on the continent and the compressive stresses may deform the continental margin into a fold mountain chain, such as the Andes. Unlike the ocean–ocean convergence the partial melting of the mantle and downgoing plate now takes place below much thicker continental crust. This results in the intrusion of granitic plutons within the deep roots of the mountain chain.

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