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TITLE: Rocks Deform

Rocks can be pushed, pulled, squeezed, and sheared. Their folds and fractures show that rocks deform under stress. Rock can become deformed during earthquakes, mountain-building, and other events caused by movements of Earth’s huge tectonic plates.

  • How Do Rocks Deform?
  • Rocks That Break
  • Rocks That Flow
  • [Photo: Rock with close-up detail showing one of the garnets in the rock.]

    The red “thumbprints” in this rock are garnets that grew when the rock was glowing hot, 16 km (10 mi) below Earth’s surface. During their 2 million-year growth, they rolled slowly like snowballs!

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    Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits