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Using the three different rocks, granite, shale and schist, as well as the rock cycle, answer the following questions:

  1. Can these rocks become one of the other through geological processes? 
  2. Describe the processes involved and the evidence you would use to support your claim.  You can use drawings to illustrate your answer. 

The following diagram shows four crustal plates (two continental and two oceanic plates), the boundaries between the plates (numbered 1 through 3) and the location of a volcanic arc.  Based on the diagram, answer the following questions:

  1. Boundary 1 is a convergent boundary.  In what directions are Plate A and B moving from? (Use cardinal directions in your answer) 
  2. A volcanic arc is located on Plate D therefore Boundary 3 must be what type of plate boundary?  Explain what is happening along that boundary to produce the volcanic arc. 
  3. Boundary 2 must be what type of plate boundary?  Describe the direction of movement for Plates B and C, and the features that must be located at that boundary. 

Visit the website Volcano World ( Click on Volcano List and choose Volcanoes by County. Select a North American volcano. For the volcano you selected, answer the following questions:

  1. Name the volcano you selected.
  2. State whether the volcano is a strato- or shield-volcano.  Describe the appearance and other characteristics of that type of volcano (i.e. type of magma, structure, etc.).
  3. Using maps found in your textbook, choose the geologic setting of the volcano.  Is the volcano located (i) along a ridge (i.e. divergent plate boundary), (ii) near a trench (i.e. convergent plate boundary) or (iii) in the middle of the plate away from a ridge or trench (i.e. hot spot)?  Explain why the volcano should be located in that setting including the plates that are responsible for the formation of the volcano. 

Label the following diagram, indicating for each blank space the type of mass wasting processes that would match the conditions listed.  Use the list of mass movements in the instructional content.

  1. Describe how a point bar and cut bank form and develop in a fluvial environment
  2. Explain (in your own words) the evolution from a meander to an oxbow lake

Types of Rocks and their Geological Processes

When comparing schist (metamorphic rock), granite (igneous rock), and shale (sedimentary rock), one can comprehend that through the rock cycles, each one of these rocks can connect to the other through geological processes such as melting, erosion and Solifluction. Similarly, the evidence of this variation can be established in the rocks by evaluating the chemical composition, or in some cases, even pre-existing aspects in the rock that have been preserved (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014). 

First, granite can change to shale (igneous to sedimentary); granite to schist (igneous to metamorphic); granite to granite (igneous to igneous). Secondly, schist can change to shale through the metamorphic to sedimentary process; schist to granite (metamorphic to igneous); schist to schist (metamorphic to metamorphic). Finally, shale can change to schist through (sedimentary to metamorphic); shale to shale (sedimentary to sedimentary); shale to granite (sedimentary to igneous) (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014). It is worth noting that shale to granite and granite to granite, two situations are impossible or rare. Igneous rocks create in two diverse surroundings. Entirely, igneous rocks begin as lava and then crystalize.  Metamorphic rocks build igneous, sedimentary or other metamorphic rocks when exposed to pressure and heat from contact or burial with extrusive or intrusive igneous rock. Sedimentary rocks are those built from other pieces of rocks.  The rocks changes over hundreds of centuries through six stages of the rock phase.  Firstly, weathering; sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks on the superficial of the ground are continuously split by wind or water (Bolt, Horn, MacDonald, & Scott, 2014).   Secondly, transportation processes whereby the rock elements are transported away by wind, rivers and oceans. Thirdly, the deposition where the streams get deeper into the sea, their current reduces and the rocks fragments sink and become a sediment layer.   Fourthly, the compact and cementation; it happens where the layers of sediment stack up, the pressure and weight compact the bottoms layers. Metamorphism is another step of rock cycle; the igneous or sedimentary rock end up being submerged deep under the underground because of the tectonic plate movement. Lastly, rock melting action whereby the metamorphic rock underground melt to become magma. As the magma cool down, it toughens and develops to an igneous rock. As soon as a novel igneous rock is created, the courses of weathering and erosion initiate, and the complete cycles start once more (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014).

Figure 1: rock cycles (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014)

Formation of the Volcanoes

To form a convergent boundary between the plate A and B, then, the plate A must be from the west and the plate B from the east.

A volcanic arc is positioned on plate D. Therefore, the boundary 3 comprises ocean-continent convergent boundary. At a convergent plate boundary, when one plate is oceanic, large volcanoes exist (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014). These volcanoes are found in lines that outline the subduction areas and also earthquakes occur in these parts. An oceanic crust may collide with a continent. The ocean plate is denser, and therefore, it undergoes subduction; meaning that the oceanic plate sink beneath the continents. As one would expect, where plates collide there are a lot of intense earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes (Bolt et al., 2014). The subduction oceanic plate melts as it reenters the mantle. The magma upsurges and erupts. This generates a volcanic mountain rage near the coast of the continents.  This is range is called continental arc or volcanic arc (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014).

The boundary 2 is ocean-ocean convergent boundary which is formed as two ocean plates collides (plate B moves from west and plate C moves from the east).  In this case, the older plate is denser and therefore, subducts beneath the younger plate. As the subduction plate is pushed deeper into the layer, it thaws. The lava rises and explodes. These kinds of a line of volcanoes are recognized as the island arc (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013).

Cleveland is a type of stratovolcano found in North America.  The stratovolcano is generally found on top of subduction faults. A stratovolcano key aspect is a huge lava reservoir in the ground’s crust which generates up over a period (Bolt et al., 2014). This huge lava reservoir is generated from the melting end of the subduction plate. The volcanic emission of stratovolcano is formed comparatively gentler by this procedure, so it inclines to be denser, stocking additional pressure and vapor. This sluggish volcanic course effect causes the retro between the stratovolcano outbursts to be lengthier. These volcanoes are categorized by a vertical profile and episodic, fiery eruption. The magma that tides from them is extremely viscous and chills and toughens before dispersing faraway. The sources of molten rock are categorized as great in silica to transitional or acidic. This is in distinction to less viscid basic lava that creates the guard volcanoes, which have an extensive base and more mildly inclined profile (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014).

Stratovolcano and its Characteristics

These volcanoes have placid lower inclines but much sharper upper angles, building an upwardly concave pinecone and typically have numerous distinct outlets. The summit hollow of these volcanoes is normally trivial. In spite of their contour, there are some differences due to numerous conformation and sorts of outbursts.  The stratovolcano typically takes tens of thousands and several hundred thousand years to build. Most of them that are presently active are less than 100,000 years old but some are older, possibly over a million (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014).

The Aleutian island was created by interactions between the Pacific plates and North America. They are positioned on the southern edge of the North America plates to form a convergent plate boundary. At the plate border, the Pacific plate moves to the northwest and in a crash with the North America plate stirring in a southerly way. At the border, the Pacific plates descend sharply into the layer to create a subduction region.  As the plate slopes into the layer, its temperature upsurges and part of the rock starts to thaw. Lava bodies created from this thawing are lighter in the direction of the immediate rock and will upswing towards the surface. Lava bodies can cool in the layer prior to getting the surface or facilitate a volcano outburst (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014).  

Figure 2: Cleveland volcano atlas: map illustrating the position of Mt Cleveland in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The line A-B displays the position of the cross-section (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013).

Figure 3: simplified plate tectonics cross section (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013)

Earthflow: the debris moves downslope as a viscous fluid with slow movement typically after heavy rains. It produces a scarp at the top and a hummocky or lobe at the end. Rotational sliding occurs in the upper zones with the lower part being the earth flow (Bolt et al., 2014).  Creep: the imperceptibly slow down-slope movement and typically affect the upper few meters.  It is enhanced by frost heaving, wetting and drying cycles, and a washing way of fine fragments.  Debris flows: a debris slide comprises of a sudden down-slope movement of debris comprising of a mixture of rocks, sediments, soils or vegetation. A debris fall is like a rock fall except that materials comprise of a blend of sediments, rocks, soils and vegetation.  A rockfall is the falling of detached bodies of bedrock whereas a slide constitutes one kind of slope feature comprising the rock movement and other debris down on an inclined surface. Solifluction is thawing above permafrost on slopes and promotes slow downhill movement (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013). A slump is slow slide of unconsolidated substances that move as a coherent unit. A slump comprises downwards and outwards rotational movement of regolith and is linked with heavy rains or sudden shocks. Lahars are types of mudflow happening in young volcanoes; unconsolidated ash. Volcanic ash from ongoing or recent eruptions mixes with water from heavy rains or melted glacial ice (Hickey & Gottsmann, 2014).

Therefore, from the figure above

  • Lahars and mudflow
  • Solifluction
  • Slumping
  • Debris flow
  • Rockfall and slides

Sedimentary surroundings are spots on the surface of the earth featured by distinctive chemical, physical and biological processes (Bolt et al., 2014). The fluvial settings are one kind of sedimentary environs, defining where fluvial landforms (geomorphology) and fluvial sediments (facies) are generated.  Most streams convey particulate and dissolved carbon-based matters and hugely wooded debris and can be a major aspect generating deposits and features in streams such as fluvial bars downstream of deadlocks. As the river flows across the land, it erodes the soils and creates banks. A cut bank is also referred to as a river cliff or a river-cut cliff and is a bank that is closely vertical. Cut banks are found on the outside of a river bend. Cut banks are caused by the moving water wearing away the earth (Bolt et al., 2014).  On the other hand, point bar is positioned on the inside of a river bend. As the river curves around the river bend, the water slows down and sediment is dropped to a river bed. Over a period, this sediment creates up and generates a point bar. A point bar that has been created recently has the same conformation as a point bar that was made millions of years ago (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014).

An oxbow is typically a crescent-designed river lying beside a winding stream (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013). The oxbow river is formed over period as erosion and sediments of soil modify the course of the stream as shown in the figure below.  First, on the inside of the circle, the river moves more gradually leading to silt deposition. Secondly, the water on the outside limits inclines to stream faster, which wear away the banks making the meander broader. Thirdly, over the period, the circle of the meander broadens until the neck disappears completely. Finally, the meander is eradicated from the stream's current and the horseshoe-designed oxbow stream is generated (Hu, Liu & Dong, 2014).  

Figure 4: formation of oxbow from meander (Rebetsky, Kuchai & Marinin, 2013)


Bolt, B. A., Horn, W. L., MacDonald, G. A., & Scott, R. F. (2014). Geological Hazards: Earthquakes -- Tsunamis -- Volcanoes, Avalanches -- Landslides -- Floods. Berlin: Springer Berlin.1st ed. [Online]. Retrieved from:, [Accessed on 30 October 2018].

Hickey, J., & Gottsmann, J. (2014). Benchmarking and developing numerical Finite Element models of volcanic deformation. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 280, 126-130. [Online]. Retrieved from:, [Accessed on 30 October 2018].

Hu, Y. X., Liu, S. C., & Dong, W. (2014). Earthquake engineering. CRC Press.1st ed. [Online]. Retrieved from:, [Accessed on 30 October 2018].

Rebetsky, Y. L., Kuchai, O. A., & Marinin, A. V. (2013). Stress state and deformation of the Earth’s crust in the Altai–Sayan mountain region. Russian Geology and Geophysics, 54(2), 206-222. [Online]. Retrieved from:, [Accessed on 30 October 2018].

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