Recrystallization (geology)

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Snow crystallization in Akureyri 2005-02-26 19-03-37.jpeg
Crystallization · Crystal growth
Recrystallization · Seed crystal
Protocrystalline · Single crystal
Nucleation · Crystal
Crystal structure · Solid
Methods and technology
Boules · Bridgman-Stockbarger
Czochralski process
Frac. crystalliz. · Frac. freezing
Hydroth. synthesis · LHPG · Iodide process

In geology, solid-state recrystallization is a metamorphic process that occurs under situations of intense temperature and pressure where grains, atoms or molecules of a rock or mineral are packed closer together, creating a new crystal structure. The basic composition remains the same. This process can be illustrated by observing how snow recrystallizes to ice without melting.

As opposed to metasomatism, which is a chemical change caused by metamorphism, recrystallization is a physical process. However, recrystallization can occur when a local migration of chemicals results in the chemical change of the rock or mineral with no external addition of materials.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that undergoes metamorphic recrystallization to form marble, and clays can recrystallize to muscovite mica.