Differences Between Sedimentary Rocks and Igneous Rocks

Top 7 Differences Between Sedimentary Rocks and Igneous Rocks


Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Igneous rock may form with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. 

Sedimentary Rocks formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles (detritus) to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution.

2-Abundance on the earth crust

The sedimentary rock cover of the continents of the Earth's crust is extensive, but the total contribution of sedimentary rocks is estimated to be only 8% of the total volume of the crust.
Igneous and metamorphic rocks make up 90–95% of the top 16 km of the Earth's crust by volume.

3-Mineralogical contents

Felsic Igneous  rock, highest content of silicon, with predominance of quartz, alkali feldspar and/or feldspathoids: the felsic minerals; these rocks (e.g., granite, rhyolite) are usually light coloured, and have low density. While mafic Igneous rock, lesser content of silicon relative to felsic rocks, with predominance of mafic minerals pyroxenes, olivines and calcic plagioclase; these rocks (example, basalt, gabbro) are usually dark coloured, and have a higher density than felsic rocks.ultramafic rock, lowest content of silicon, with more than 90% of mafic minerals.
Top 7 Differences Between Sedimentary Rocks and Igneous Rocks
Top 7 Differences Between Sedimentary Rocks and Igneous Rocks
Most sedimentary rocks contain either quartz (especially siliciclastic rocks) or calcite (especially carbonate rocks). In contrast with igneous and metamorphic rocks, a sedimentary rocks usually contains very few different major minerals. However, the origin of the minerals in a sedimentary rock is often more complex than those in an igneous rock. Minerals in a sedimentary rock can have formed by precipitation during sedimentation or diagenesis. In the second case, the mineral precipitate can have grown over an older generation of cement.


 Among the three major types of rock, fossils are most commonly found in sedimentary rock. Unlike most igneous and metamorphic rocks, sedimentary rocks form at temperatures and pressures that do not destroy fossil remnants. Often these fossils may only be visible when studied under a microscope (microfossils) or with a loupe.


Structures in sedimentary rocks can be divided into 'primary' structures (formed during deposition) and 'secondary' structures (formed after deposition). Structures are always large-scale features that can easily be studied in the field.

The structures of igneous rocks are large scale features, which are dependent on several factors like: (a) Composition of magma.(b) Viscosity of magma. (c) Temperature and pressure at which cooling and consolidation takes place. (d) Presence of gases and other volatiles.


Igneous rocks are classified according to mode of occurrence, texture, mineralogy, chemical composition, and the geometry of the igneous body.

Based on the processes responsible for their formation, sedimentary rocks can be subdivided into four groups: clastic sedimentary rocks, biochemical (or biogenic) sedimentary rocks, chemical sedimentary rocks and a fourth category for "other" sedimentary rocks formed by impacts, volcanism, and other minor processes.


Sedimentary rocks host large deposits of SEDEX ore deposits of lead-zinc-silver, large deposits of copper, deposits of gold, tungsten, Uranium, and many other precious minerals, gemstones and industrial minerals including heavy mineral sands ore deposits. petroleum geology relies on the capacity of sedimentary rocks to generate deposits of petroleum oils. Coal and oil shale are found in sedimentary rocks. A large proportion of the world's uranium energy resources are hosted within sedimentary successions.sedimentary rocks contain a large proportion of the Earth's groundwater aquifers. Our understanding of the extent of these aquifers and how much water can be withdrawn from them depends critically on our knowledge of the rocks that hold them (the reservoir).

Many types of igneous rocks are used as building stone, facing stone, and decorative material, such as that used for tabletops, cutting boards, and carved figures. Pumice is used as an abrasive material in hand soaps, emery boards, etc.
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