The main difference between contact and local metamorphism is that contact metamorphism occurs in a little region, whereas regional metamorphism wake up in a broad area.

You are watching: Distinguish between regional and contact metamorphism

In geology, metamorphism is the formation of metamorphic rocks. There space two significant ways of developing a metamorphic rock: call metamorphism and local metamorphism. These two types of metamorphism mainly differ from each various other according to the area in which metamorphism takes place. Moreover, contact metamorphism requires the call of the rock with magma, while local metamorphism entails collisions in between continent-continent or oceanic and continental plates.

Key locations Covered

1. What is contact Metamorphism – Definition, Features, Formation2. What is regional Metamorphism – Definition, Features, Formation3. What is the Difference between Contact and local Metamorphism – to compare of vital Differences

Key Terms

Contact Metamorphism, regional Metamorphism, Metamorphism


What is call Metamorphism

Contact metamorphism is the formation of a metamorphic rock because of the call of magma. The call of magma causes a sudden readjust in temperature the an present rock. Generally, the term call metamorphism ad to transforms that take ar when magma is injected into a hard rock. At the boundary wherein the absent comes into call with the magma, over there is a very high temperature. However, this temperature decreases with distance indigenous this boundary.


Figure 1: call Metamorphism

Furthermore, the area where contact metamorphism occurs in one igneous rock is called the aureole. An aureole shows all feasible degrees of metamorphism indigenous the contact boundary to a distance away. Sometimes, us can additionally observe the development of some vital ore minerals at or close to the contact region.

When a details rock undergoes contact metamorphism by one igneous intrusion, the rock becomes coarsely crystalline and much more indurated. This type of rocks are called hornstones if the ax hornfel describes the product that this metamorphism.

What is local Metamorphism

Regional metamorphism is a form of metamorphism wherein the development of a metamorphic absent occurs in a vast area. This form of metamorphism occurs with rocks the are buried deep under the earth’s crust. Generally, this metamorphism method is associated with bowl boundaries and formation of mountains ranges. The areas impacted by this change are very large.


Figure 2: Continental-continental Convergence

Rocks often type from regional metamorphism due to the continent-continent collisions. Over there can additionally be collisions in between oceanic and continental plates. Together a result of these collisions, young metamorphic belts, present-day continental margins and also older metamorphic belts align parallel to every other. These alignments cause the formation of mountain belts such together Himalaya.

When over there is a collision between oceanic and continental plates, the oceanic plate gets subducted beneath the continent plate. This is because of the high density of the oceanic plate compared to the density of the continent plate. This subduction can reason either a rise in temperature or the melting of hydrated peridotite (fluids exit from the metamorphic reactions).

Difference in between Contact and regional Metamorphism


Contact metamorphism is the development of a metamorphic rock because of the contact of magma while regional metamorphism is a kind of metamorphism where the formation of a metamorphic rock occurs in a wide area.


Regional metamorphism occurs in a comparatively larger area when compared to contact metamorphism.


Contact metamorphism involves contact of a rock with magma while regional metamorphism requires a collision in between continental or oceanic plates.


Metamorphism is usually the process of forming a metamorphic rock. The main difference in between contact and local metamorphism is that call metamorphism wake up in a tiny region, whereas regional metamorphism occurs in a vast area.

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1. “Contact Metamorphism.” Geology In, available here.2. “Regional Metamorphism.” Geology In, accessible here.3. Fyfe, wilhelm S., and also Jane Selverstone. “Regional Metamorphism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Feb. 2019, obtainable here.4. Earle, Steven. “7.4 local Metamorphism.” physics Geology, BCcampus, 1 Sept. 2015, available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Rock contact metamorphism eng large text” through Jasmin Ros – own work, CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia2. “Continental-continental convergence en” by Nefronus (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia