Igneous rock, or magmatic rock, is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava, the magma can be derived from partial melts of existing rocks in either a planets mantle or crust. Typically, the melting is caused by one or more of three processes, an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition, solidification into rock occurs either below the surface as intrusive rocks or on the surface as extrusive rocks. Igneous rock may form with crystallization to form granular, crystalline rocks, Igneous and metamorphic rocks make up 90–95% of the top 16 km of the Earths crust by volume. Igneous rocks form about 15% of the Earths current land surface, most of the Earths oceanic crust is made of igneous rock. In terms of modes of occurrence, igneous rocks can be either intrusive or extrusive, the mineral grains in such rocks can generally be identified with the naked eye. Intrusive rocks can also be classified according to the shape and size of the intrusive body, typical intrusive formations are batholiths, stocks, laccoliths, sills and dikes. When the magma solidifies within the earths crust, it cools slowly forming coarse textured rocks, such as granite, gabbro, the central cores of major mountain ranges consist of intrusive igneous rocks, usually granite. When exposed by erosion, these cores may occupy huge areas of the Earths surface, intrusive igneous rocks that form at depth within the crust are termed plutonic rocks and are usually coarse-grained. Intrusive igneous rocks that form near the surface are termed subvolcanic or hypabyssal rocks, hypabyssal rocks are less common than plutonic or volcanic rocks and often form dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, or phacoliths. Extrusive igneous rocks, also known as rocks, are formed at the crusts surface as a result of the partial melting of rocks within the mantle. Extrusive igneous rocks cool and solidify quicker than intrusive igneous rocks and they are formed by the cooling of molten magma on the earths surface. The magma, which is brought to the surface through fissures or volcanic eruptions, hence such rocks are smooth, crystalline and fine-grained. Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock and forms lava flows, lava sheets. Some kinds of basalt solidify to form long polygonal columns, the Giants Causeway in Antrim, Northern Ireland is an example. The molten rock, with or without suspended crystals and gas bubbles, is called magma and it rises because it is less dense than the rock from which it was created. When magma reaches the surface from beneath water or air, it is called lava, eruptions of volcanoes into air are termed subaerial, whereas those occurring underneath the ocean are termed submarine. Black smokers and mid-ocean ridge basalt are examples of volcanic activity
Forming of igneous rock
Close-up of granite (an intrusive igneous rock) exposed in Chennai, India.
Extrusive igneous rock is made from lava released by volcanoes
Sample of basalt (an extrusive igneous rock), found in Massachusetts