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Emeritus Scientist, Dept. of Applied Geology & Environmental System Management,
Presidency University, Kolkata-700 073, and IMX Resources Limited, Australia.
Formerly, Hindustan Zinc Limited, Hindustan Copper Limited,
ESSO INC and BIL Infratech Ltd, India.

Formerly Professors, Head, Director,
President and Dean, Department of Mining,
Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia.



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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Haldar, S. K., and Tisljar Josip
Introduction to mineralogy and petrology / S.K. Haldar and Josip Tisljar.
pages cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-12-408133-8
1. Petrology. 2. Mineralogy. I. Title.
QE431.2.H35 2013

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-0-12-408133-8

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14 15 16 17 18 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

“The soul is neither born nor does it die,

nor having been born does it cease to be at any time.
Unborn, eternal, ever-abiding and primeval,
it is not killed though the body is slain”. (II-20)
Bhagavat Gita

Dedicated in the memory of Late Professor Josip Tisljar (1941e2009) who devoted his entire
academic life for the development of the nation as a whole and for the growth of the students in
particular. May his eternal, all-pervading, stable, immovable and primeval soul rests in peace in
the eternity of God.


“Arise! Awake! And Not Stop Till The Goal Is meaningful applications and uses of minerals
Reached.”dSwami Vivekananda and rocks for the development of human society.
The target readers are aimed at undergrad-
It was the summer of 2012 and I was excep- uate and postgraduate students of Geology,
tionally busy finalizing the publication of Mineral Mining, and Civil Engineering, metallic and
Exploration e Principles and Applications. The book nonmetallic minerals, petroleum and gas. This
was primarily addressed and dedicated to my book will serve as a manual for professionals
students from the past, present and future. In in metalenonmetal mining, petroleum engi-
the midst of that busy schedule, I glanced at neering, geotechnical and forestry. Experts in
a request from Elsevier through LinkedIn. They these areas can comfortably understand and
wanted someone to take on the role of the lead- solve complex problems of drilling, develop-
author to finalize an incomplete manuscript on ment and exploitation of oil and gas deposits
Introductory Mineralogy and PetrologydOil and and geothermal energy sources.
Gas Sediment Collectors by Prof Josip Tisljar. Prof This book gives readers basic information
Tisljar, Fellow of the Croatian Academy of about the general mineralogy, petrology,
Sciences and Arts, had drafted the initial seven minerals and rocks that undergo development
chapters, submitted the proposal and passed on and exploitation of deposits of minerals, oil and
in 2009. I commiserated with the loss to the family gas and geothermal energy, helps understanding
and to the world. I heard an inner voice, and of geological structure, ground and processes of
instantly consented to participate and complete soil formationdpedogenesis. It provides an under-
the project in a spirit of homage to the departed standing of the primary formation process of
author and to help accomplish his wishes and igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks
work. in particular, which have a key role in the forming
I was greatly impressed by the rich know- of the Earth’s crust. Special focus is on the sedi-
ledge of Prof Josip and the immense value the mentary rocks as the core subject of interest in
book would provide to the students and profes- oil and gas mining, both in terms of reservoir
sionals. I generalized the title of the book to Intro- and isolator. The study of sedimentary rocks
duction to Mineralogy and Petrology. I expanded and rock-strata provides information about the
five of the first seven chapters and included subsurface that is useful for civil engineering.
tables, colored field photographs and photomi- The knowledge can be used in the construction
crographs of the rocks. I added three new chap- of roads, houses, tunnels, canals or other Earth
ters on metallic and nonmetallic miner deposits, works. Sedimentary rocks are also important
nature of occurrences, genetic model, estimation sources of natural resources like coal, fossil fuels,
and classification of mineral resources including drinking water and ore minerals.
oil and gas. The new chapters also cover The book is divided into 10 chapters in an
economic aspects of mineral deposits, hazards orderly manner such as Rocks and Minerals,
and sustainable development to make it more Basic Mineralogy, Basic Petrology, Igneous rocks,


Sedimentary rocks, Metamorphic rocks, Precipi- my wife, for her effortless encouragement; Srishti
tation Systems of Major Sedimentary Bodiesd and Srishta; our two little grand children who are
Collector Rocks for Oil and Gas, Mineral the light of my life.
DepositsdHost Rocks and Origin, Resource Traveling is my passion and learning is my
Assessment, Resource Classification System, wisdom. I love traveling in different countries,
and Economic Aspects, and Hazards of Mineral seeing diverse landscapes, awe-inspiring nature
Deposits and Sustainable Development. and meeting people from different cultures. I
We are thankful to many of our colleagues for capture them in my memory and snap their
supporting us during the development of this images in my camera. Those images are
book and each one has been acknowledged at frequently shared in my books. My wife,
appropriate pages inside the book. The valuable Swapna, often takes me out from my routine.
and timely supports of all the reviewers are My daughter, Soumi, and son-in-law, Surat,
appreciated. It was a delight to work with Ms took me to see various parts of USA of geological
Louisa Hutchins, Editorial Project Manager, interest. My grand children continue to teach me
Elsevier Limited and I am thankful for her very various aspects of nature. Thanks to all of them.
positive attitude toward any critical issue and Let my journey continue for eternity.
help in resolving with alternative solutions. I
accomplished truthful happiness while final-
izing the proof with Mr Poulouse Joseph, Project “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
Manager-Book Publishing Division, Elsevier and
And miles to go before I sleep,
his able team members who accepted all the And miles to go before I sleep.”
changes repeatedly with great humility. Robert Frost
On behalf of Prof. Josip Tisljar, I extend our
sincere thanks to the families in both Croatia
and India for their support during our profes-
S.K. Haldar
sional journey. I specially mention the names of
Mr Mladen Tisljar, son of Prof Tisljar, for his quick 1st July, 2013
response to my each and every question; Swapna, Presidency University, Kolkata
List of Acronyms used in this Book

General Ca Calcium
Cd Cadmium
CAPEX Capital Expenditure Ce Cerium
EUR Estimated Ultimate Recovery Cl Chlorine
IMX IMX Resources Limited, Perth, Australia Co Cobalt
JORC (Australasian) Joint Ore Reserves Committee Cr Chromium
MVT Mississippi Valley Type Cu Copper
OPEX Operating Expenditure F Fluorine
PVT Pressure-Volume-Temperature Fe Iron
RSM Reservoir Simulation Model Ge Germanium
SEDEX Sedimentary Exhalative H Hydrogen
Sp. Gr Specific Gravity He Helium
UNFC United Nations Framework Classification Hg Mercury
USGS United State Geological survey/ I Iodine
USBM United State Bureau of Mines K Potassium
STB Stock Tank Barrel La Lanthanum
Li Lithium
Minerals Mg Magnesium
Ch Chert Mn Manganese
Cp Chalcopyrite Mo Molybdenum
Cpx Clinopyroxene N Nitrogen
Ga Galena Na Sodium
m Microcline Nd Neodymium
Po Pyrrhotite Ni Nickel
Py Pyrite O Oxygen
Q Quartz P Phosphorus
S Sericite/seritic/sericitization Pb Lead
Sp Sphalerite Pd Palladium
Pm Promethium
Pt Platinum
Metals/Semimetals/Nonmetals Te Tellurium
Rb Rubidium
Ag Silver Rn Radon
Al Aluminium S Sulfur
As Arsenic Sb Antimony
At Astatine Se Selenium`
Au Gold Si Silicon
B boron Sm Samarium
Bi Bismuth Sr Strontium
Br Bromine U Uranium
C Carbon Zn Zinc

About the Author

S. K. Haldar

S. K. Haldar (Swapan Kumar Haldar) has BIL Infratech Ltd, India. His profession has
been a practicing veteran in the field of Mineral often required visits and interaction with experts
Exploration and metal mining for the past 4.5 of zinc, lead, gold, tin, chromium, nickel and
decades. He received his BSc (Hons) and MSc platinum mines and exploration camps of
degree from Calcutta University and Doctorate AustraliadTasmania, Canada, USA, Germany,
from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Portugal, France, Italy, The Netherlands,
The major part of his career from 1966 has been Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh
focused on base and noble metals exploration/ and Nepal. He is a life fellow of The Mining
mining with short stopover at ESSO Petroleum, Geological and Metallurgical Institutes of India
Hindustan Copper Limited and finally Hindu- and Indian Geological Congress. Dr Haldar is
stan Zinc Limited where he undertook a varied recipient of “Dr J. Coggin Brown Memorial
set of technical roles and managerial responsibil- (Gold Medal) for Geological Sciences” by
ities. Since 2003 he is associated as Emeritus MGMI. He authored “Exploration Modeling of
Scientist with Department of Applied Geology, Base Metal Deposits,” 2007, Elsevier and
Presidency University, Kolkata and teaching “Mineral ExplorationdPrinciples and Applica-
mineral exploration to postgraduate students of tions,” 2013, Elsevier. Dr Haldar has a unique
the department and often at Indian School of professional blend of mineral exploration, evalu-
Mines, Dhanbad. He is consultant with interna- ation and mineral economics with an essence of
tional exploration entities, namely, Goldstream classroom teaching of postgraduate students of
Mining NL/IMX Resources Ltd, Australia and two celebrity Universities over the last 1 decade.


Prof. Josip Tisljar (1941e2009)

Professor Josip Tisljar, obtained MSc and PhD 1. J. Tisljar, Petrology of sedimentary rocks,
from Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering
Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Faculty, Zagreb, 1987, p. 242.
Since 1965 Prof. Josip held graduate and post- 2. J. Tisljar, Sedimentary rocks, University of
graduate teaching of mineralogy, petrology Zagreb, 1994, p. 422.
and petroleum engineering at various capacities 3. J. Tisljar, Petrology with the basics of
as Professors, Head, Director, President and mineralogy, University of Zagreb, 1999,
Dean of the parent institute until demise. Acade- p. 211.
mician Professor Josip published +170 research 4. J. Tisljar, Sedimentology of carbonates and
papers focused on Tertiary clastic deposits, evaporates, Institute of Geology, Zagreb,
carbonates and marls of the Croatian part of 2001, p. 375.
the Pannonian Basin, especially glauconitic 5. J. Tisljar, Sedimentology of clastic and
sandstones and their association with volcano- siliceous sediments, Institute of Geology,
clastic deposits. Prof. Tisljar was through and Zagreb, 2004, p. 426.
through an academician engaged in University
The mutual knowledge of Academic Institu-
teaching and research of mineralogy and
tions and rich experience from mineral indus-
petrology including petroleum engineering, He
tries of the two authors are most appropriate to
authored five books:
write this book.

Rocks and Minerals

1.1. Introduction 1 1.4. Rocks 12

1.2. Importance of Minerals and Rocks to 1.5. Mineral Resources 14
Society 1
Further Reading 37
1.3. Minerals 5

1.1. INTRODUCTION canals, dam sites, high-rise buildings, industrial

and inhabited settlements and many more
The crust of the Earth and underlying rela- areas). Not a single such object can be con-
tively rigid mantle make up the lithosphere. structed without adequate geological research
The crust is composed of a great variety of min- and documentation on the types of rock and
erals and rocks. More than 80% of all raw mate- their petrological, engineering, hydrogeological
rials that are used in various sectors of economy, and geotechnical characteristics.
society and the environment are of mineral
origin, and demand for them is greater every
day. In most countries, the values of raw mate- 1.2. IMPORTANCE OF MINERALS
rials used for the metal industry and building AND ROCKS TO SOCIETY
materials exceed the value of the funds allocated
for oil and gas, although, we hear more about oil All engineering and technical works, roads
and gas. (Fig. 1.1), tunnels (Fig. 1.2), bridges (Fig. 1.3),
The deposits of raw materials (minerals and dams (Fig. 1.4), buildings, and numerous monu-
rocks) have to be found, investigated, explored ments (Fig. 1.5(A) and (B)) of man’s spiritual cul-
and determined their potential of actual re- ture through long-lasting temples (Fig. 1.6),
serves/resources and quality/grade. Geological obelisks (Fig. 1.7) and inscriptions on walls
studies of rock formations are extremely signifi- (Fig. 1.8) are built of rock, minerals, metals or
cant consequences for major construction pro- materials that are either part of the rock or ob-
jects (roads, railway tracks, airports, tunnels, tained from the rocks. An in-depth knowledge

Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology 1 Copyright Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

FIGURE 1.1 The “Sela Pass”, located at Arunachal Pradesh, India, is a high-altitude (13,700 ft or 4,176 m) mountain pass
connecting Guwahati (340 km)/Tezpur (155 km)/Bomdila (42 km) in the south and Tawang (78 km) in the north by main
access road NH 229. The Pass experiences heavy snow in winter and landslides during rains posing tremendous geological
and engineering problem. The road is maintained by the Indian Border Security Force.

of mineralogy, petrology, texture, structure, in The rocks depict the direct evidences and
situ rock quality, and effect of weathering is speak the events that happened in the geologic
essential for planning, execution and optimum past of Earth (both volcanic and tectonic activ-
uses of natural mineral/rock resources. ities, and interactions between land and sea).

FIGURE 1.2 One of the long-tunnel roads in Europe keeps away from extended high-altitude road travel distance. In situ
rock conditions and structures, excessive rains and snow are the main hazards of concern.

FIGURE 1.3 The “Tower/London Bridge” is a combination of cable suspension and moveable type over river “Thames”
built between 1886 and 1894 using concrete and steel connects. The bridge is 244 m in length, connects main city and
Southwark, and enjoys heritage status. Rock type and structures on either side of the banks, soil condition on river bed, water
flow and nature silting are important in designing the Tower Bridge.

Fossils in Latin (fossus ¼ being dug up) are of rock and minerals with the remains of biologic
the well-preserved remains of animals, plants, organisms. Fossils and their occurrence within
and other organisms from the past. People the sequence of Earth’s rock strata is referred to
have always noticed and gathered fossils, pieces as the fossil record.

FIGURE 1.4 The “Maithon Dam”, 48 km from Dhanbad coal belt town, India, is constructed on “Barakar River”. The dam
is 4,789 m long, 50 m high and over 65 km2 water reservoir. It was specially designed, based on in situ rock competency and
related structural features, for flood control and generate 60,000 kW hydroelectric power since 1957.

FIGURE 1.5 (A) “The Great Pyramid” of Giza (Cheops) is the oldest (2,560 Before Christ or BC), the tallest (146.5 m) and
the largest monument made by the Egyptian Pharaoh (Khufu/King) as tomb. This pyramid consists of 2.3 million limestone
blocks from nearby quarry, each varies between 2.5 and 6 t making a total weight of 7.3 million tonnes. It is the oldest of the
“Seven Wonders” of the ancient World and the only one to remain largely intact. (B) One of the entries into the Pyramid where
the king/queen/high priest was buried along with treasures. There are several false-entry doors to misguide the miscreants.
Milk, wine, beer and small piece of bread offered during burial are still preserved in the scientific laboratories in Cairo.

The fossil records are one of the early sources millions of year earlier. According to these indi-
of data relevant to the study to reliably determine cators, it is clear that the boundaries of land
the boundaries of sea and land, and the existence and sea in the past have frequently changed.
of lakes and rivers in different periods of geolog- Many areas that are land now were submerged
ical history. These are the “rock records” that ge- marine areas in the past, and vice versa.
ologists need to learn to “read” the geological The fossils in sedimentary rocks have a
events dated during billions (1,000 million)/ great significance presenting the development

FIGURE 1.6 The “Abu Simbel” temples are twin massive rock structures on the western bank of “Lake Nasser” in Nubia,
southern Egypt. The temples are originally carved out of in situ limestone mountain side during the reign of Pharaoh
Ramesses II in the thirteenth century Before Christ, as a lasting monument to himself (picture above) and his queen Nefertari
positioned few meters in the right. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill high above the Aswan
High Dam reservoir.

documents for the reconstruction of the Earth their life system had been unearthed along the
and life on it. This primarily assists for the age “Awas River” in Ethiopia following the East
determination of rocks and the time span in African Rift System. “Millennium shift of the
which each fossil communities grow and culture, material goods and spiritual needs of a
develop and thus the entire sequence of variety of people remained recorded in stone
sedimentation. as a memorial to the past for the future”.8 The
The rocks in the Earth’s crust are mostly civilization advanced with the advent of metal-
disturbed because of tectonic movements that working passing through the Copper Age
are not present at the place and in their relations (3500e2300 BC), Bronze Age (w3000 BC) and
as they were at its origin. The study of their age, Iron Age (Vedic Civilization, 2000e500 BC).
location and time of origin and initial relations is The modern society uses hundreds of minerals,
obtained knowledge of the tectonic movements metals and alloys in day-to-day life and impos-
that allow the reconstruction of the process sible to live without it.
of formation mountain chains (orogenyd
Section 3.4.2).
Stone, or broken part of a rock, served the 1.3. MINERALS
man from the Stone Age, ranges between
2,000 BC and 3.4 million years before, as the We draw from minerals and rocks, virtually
opportunities for his existence and creation. all the resources for our construction and hous-
The prehistoric genus “Homo (Great Apes)” ing. We grow plants on the surface soil and
and their predecessors widely used stones tools, draw water for drinking and cultivation from
implements, artifacts with sharp ages, pointed them. But among the average man, unfortu-
and percussion surfaces for haunting food and nately, large number of them know very little
learned to control fire. Ample of evidences of or nothing about the minerals and rocks.

Mineral is a homogeneous body with a highly

ordered arrangement of atoms in atomic struc-
ture as a result of crystallization. Mineral is an in-
tegral part of the Earth’s crust, and has a
constant chemical composition that can be
expressed by chemical formula. In the specific
conditions of temperature and pressure, min-
erals have stable physical properties.
Constancy of the chemical composition of a
mineral is reflected in the fact that any mineral
of the same kind anywhere on the Earth has mol-
ecules of equal composition. If we break it in
smaller pieces, it will still have same characteris-
tics and chemical composition as of the parent
mineral. For example, every piece of quartz
(SiO2) always contains 46.73% silicon and
53.27% oxygen.
Constancy of chemical and physical proper-
ties of minerals is the result of its internal
crystalline structure, i.e. permanent arrangement
of atoms and ions in the crystal lattice. This
means that each crystallized mineral possesses
characteristic permanent arrangement of atoms,
ions or ionic groups. For example, mineral halite
(Fig. 1.9), also known as common salt or rock salt
FIGURE 1.7 Monolithic granite “Obelisks” of 23 m high (sodium chloride), is made of sodium and chlo-
stood at the entrance to the Luxor temple complex, Egypt, rine ions, which are in proper schedule and un-
since 1,300 BC. The obelisk symbolized the Sun God “Ra” changed at constant intervals between the two
and bear inscription that refer the king’s seizure of goods.

FIGURE 1.8 Inscriptions on the limestone walls of ancient temples at Luxor, Egypt portray the offerings of flower, food,
drinks and wealth to the Crowned God/King sitting at the center.
External crystal form is a reflection of its
internal structure. For example, halite crystals
have shape of hexahedron; calcite rhombohedra,
diamond octahedral and quartz have the form
of hexagonal prisms closed by bipyramids
(Fig. 1.11).
In all crystals of the same minerals, at the
same temperature and pressure, the angles be-
tween corresponding sides are equal. This is
the result of proper and regular internal struc-
ture of crystals. For example, the angles between
the surfaces are the same for all the quartz crys-
tals (Fig. 1.11) or all of the plagioclase crystals
(Fig. 2.18). Well-developed crystals that have
the form of regular polyhedra with properly
FIGURE 1.9 Halite, commonly known as rock salt, is the developed crystal forms, surfaces, edges and
mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms iso- peaks (Fig. 1.11, Figs 2.9, 2.11 and 2.13, and Sec-
metric crystal. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but
may also be with shades of light blue, dark blue, purple,
tion 2.2.5) in nature are not common. On the con-
pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount trary, minerals are often found in the form of
and type of impurities. irregular grains. Minerals with a properly devel-
oped external crystal forms occur only where
ions arranged along the edges of the cube there was enough space for their uninterrupted
(Fig. 1.10). growth on all sides, such as crystallization in so-
The distance between the two chlorine ions is lution or crystallization of lava in the volcanic
always 4.12  1010 m or 4.12 Å. The angstrom rocks. In such conditions, the crystals may
(symbol Å) is an international unit of length grow into a regular polyhedron, defined by flat
equal to 1  1010 m. It was named after Anders surfaces, which reflects their arrangement of
Jonas Ångström. atoms within the crystal lattice (Fig. 2.11).

FIGURE 1.10 Halite NaCl crystal structure: (A) schematic representation of the spatial arrangement of sodium and
chlorine ions and (B) halite structure with mutual arrangement and size relationships of Naþ and Cl ions.

FIGURE 1.12 Alabaster (calcite) is medium to hard car-

bonate (CaCO3) mineral of Ancient Egyptians, primarily
FIGURE 1.11 Pure natural twined quartz crystals are used as decorative and ornamental objects such as vases and
transparent portraying in general hexagonal prisms and sculptures. The name 'alabaster' is often applied to gypsum
closed by bipyramids. It is the most abundant mineral in the (CaSO4.2H2O) and used for the same purpose.
Earth’s continental crust. There are different varieties of
quartz such as a-quartz (trigonal crystal system) and
b-quartz (hexagonal crystal system). Color varies between
colorless to black through various shades that are used as
semiprecious gemstone.

The minerals may not have enough free

space for uninterrupted growth and begin to
develop a larger number of crystals in a small
space at the same time. This is the case in
many rocks and they will have to develop
within the available space. They will naturally
grow and meet one another and extrude each
other. Therefore, they will have form of more
or less irregular interconnected grains
(Fig. 6.4). This does not mean that such grains
have irregular internal structure. The internal
structure of each grain is same as that of the
crystals with regular external structure.
Minerals occur generally in solid form, the ex-
ceptions being mercury, natural water and fossil
fuel. The common nonmetallic rock-forming FIGURE 1.13 Andalusite is an aluminum silicate mineral
formed under regional metamorphism or at contact meta-
minerals are quartz (SiO2; Fig. 1.11), orthoclase morphic zone around intrusive igneous rocks, primary ap-
feldspar (KAlSi3O8), plagioclase feldspar plications are as refractory bricks/monolithic blocks in iron
(CaNaAlSi3O8), mica group such as muscovite and steel industry, porcelain spark plugs and transparent
(H2KAL3 (SiO4)3) and biotite (H2K(MgFe)3Al variety as gemstone and jewelry.

FIGURE 1.14 Calcite is a carbonate mineral (CaCO3) FIGURE 1.16 Garnet is widely distributed in meta-
with trigonalerhombohedral crystal system. It is colorless morphic terrain such as mica schist. The image presents
and white with occasional gray, yellow and green shades. large crystal of pink almandine fractured garnet (center)
Calcite is the main constituent of limestone, marble and poikilitically enclosed in amphibolites host rock at Khetri
shells of marine species. Source: Ref. 24. copper belt, India Brilliant bright red colors and trans-
parency make attractive semiprecious gemstone (necklace)
and inferior quality as abrasive, steel cutting, leather and
wood polishing and water filtration media.

FIGURE 1.15 Fluorite/Fluorspar is a fluoride (CaF2) FIGURE 1.17 Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral (CaSO4)
mineral with isometric crystal system, colorless, white, pur- with monoclinic-prismatic crystal system, colorless to white
ple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red pink, brown and bluish with various shades of gray, yellow, blue, and brown due to
black. Massive variety is suitable for economic mining and impurities, collected during visit to zincelead polymetallic
industrial uses. Source: Ref. 24. ore deposit, Megan Mine, Germany. Source: Ref. 24.

FIGURE 1.19 Bauxite is a primary aluminum ore often

with pisolitic structure. The sample is collected from Bagru
FIGURE 1.18 Tourmaline is complex borosilicate of Hill/Group of open-pit mines, operating since 1933, Jhark-
aluminum, magnesium, iron, manganese, chromium and hand, India. Source: Ref. 24.
lithium formed during the pneumatolytic process of igneous
rock formation. Primary applications are as semiprecious
gems, piezoelectricity, therapeutic for relaxation of body and
mind, and hair care products. Fig. 1.17), tourmaline (complex borosilicate of Al,
Mg, Fe, Mn, Cr, Li; Fig. 1.18), and so on.
(SiO4)3), alabaster (CaCO3; Fig. 1.12), albite (NaAl- The common metallic/nonmetallic ore forming
Si3O8), andalusite (Al2SiO5; Fig. 1.13), calcite minerals are apatite (Ca5(PO4)3 (F, Cl, OH)),
(CaCO3; Fig. 1.14), fluorite (CaF2; Fig. 1.15), garnet baryte (BaSO4$2H2O), bauxite (Al2O3$2H2O;
(Ca3Al2(SiO4)3; Fig. 1.16), gypsum (CaSO4$2H2O; Fig. 1.19), chalcopyrite (CuFeS2; Fig. 1.20), galena

FIGURE 1.20 High-grade chalcopyrite (brassy-golden) and pyrrhotite-rich ore in chloriteeamphibole  garnet schist host
rock at Kolihan Section, Khetri Copper Mine, India.
1.3. MINERALS 11

FIGURE 1.23 Chromite (FeOCr2O3) is the primary ore of

chromium with isometric-hexoctahedral crystal system,
FIGURE 1.21 Massive galena (steel-gray) primary lead Sukinda layered Igneous Complex, Orissa, India. This com-
ore (PbS) with isometric crystalline texture in calc-silicate plex hosts þ 90% of chromite ore in the country. Source:
host rock at Rajpura-Dariba Mine, India. Source: Prof. Ref. 24.
Martin Hale.

(PbS; Fig. 1.21), cassiterite (SnO2), cerussite skutterudite (CoAs3; Fig. 1.28), sphalerite (ZnS;
(PbCO3; Fig. 1.22), chromite (FeCr2O4; Fig. 1.23), Fig. 1.29), stibnite (Sb2S3; Fig. 1.30), wolframite
cinnabar (HgS; Fig. 1.24), hematite (Fe2O3; ((Fe,Mn)WO4; Fig. 1.31), etc.
Fig. 1.25), pyrite (FeS2; Fig. 1.26), pyrrhotite Natural brilliant colored crystals of pyrite-
(FenSnþ1; Fig. 1.27), rhodochrosite (MnCO3), fluorite (Fig. 1.32), amythist (Fig. 1.33) often

FIGURE 1.22 Cerussite (lead carbonate), also known as FIGURE 1.24 Cinnabar with bright cochineal-red color
“white lead ore”, is the important secondary source of lead and extremely high specific gravity occurs as vein-filling by
metal. Sample collected during a visit to zincelead poly- recent volcanic activity and acid-alkaline hot spring is the
metallic deposit, Megan Mine, Germany. primary source of mercury.

FIGURE 1.27 Massive pyrrhotite, iron sulfide mineral,

FIGURE 1.25 Hematite (steel-gray, Fe2O3) and Jasper (red) brownish-bronze color with inclusions of quartz and rock
the primary ore of iron, Trigonal/Hexagonal crystal is the fragments hosted by quartz chlorite  garnet schist from
primary source of iron ore, Jharkhand, India. Source: Ref. 24. Kolihan Section, Khetri Copper Mine, India. Source: Prof.
Martin Hale.

FIGURE 1.28 Skutterudite (pin-head dots), a cobalt

arsenide mineral with variable proportion of nickel and iron,
occurs as hydrothermal ore found in moderate- to high-
FIGURE 1.26 Pyrite (FeS2), pale brass-yellow fast tarn-
temperature veins. The sample is collected from the
ishing color with Cubic Isometric crystal is a metallic mineral
hanging wall shear zone of copper lode at Kolihan Section
usually associated with sulfide ore, Rajpura-Dariba Mine,
Mine, Khetri Copper Mine, India..
India. Source: Ref. 24.

1.4. ROCKS
originate by hydrothermal veins, volcanic and
sub-volcanic and sedimentary re crystallization. Rock or stone is a geological body of specific
A list of common nonmetallic and metallic mineral composition, structure and texture, i.e.
minerals with diagnostic characteristics are mineral aggregate of the same or different with
given in Table 1.1. wide variation.
1.4. ROCKS 13

FIGURE 1.29 Sphalerite (ZnS), dark-brown color with

isometric-hextetrahedral crystal, is the primary ore of zinc,
FIGURE 1.31 Wolframite, (Fe,Mn)WO4, steel-gray to
brownish color and monoclinic system, is the primary source
Zawar Mine, India. Source: Ref. 24.
of tungsten, Degana Mine, Rajasthan, India. Source: Ref. 24.

Granite is an igneous rock which contains (magma) and cools deep in the rocky crust of
granular minerals of quartz, microcline and/ the Earth.
or orthoclase, Na-plagioclase feldspar and Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock formed
muscovite (Figs 3.5, 4.6(A), 4.10 and 4.12) through transportation, deposition, compaction
that is crystallized from molten rock masses and cementation of different mineral composition
of sand grains (Figs 5.14 and 5.27).
Limestone is a chemical and biogenic sedi-
mentary rock that is composed mostly of calcite

FIGURE 1.30 Stibnite, also known as “antimonite”, oc-

curs as soft-gray color, needle-like radiating acicular crystals. FIGURE 1.32 Cubic overgrowth and twined crystals of
Small hydrothermal veins of stibnite are common and big fluorite (vitreous and light rose color) resting on perfect
deposits are rare. The mineral is potentially toxic primary crystalline twined pyrite (shining black) often form in hy-
sulfide ore of antimony. drothermal veins.

FIGURE 1.33 Twined crystalline overgrowth of amethyst forms as geode or vug from the cavities in fissures and veins out
of gas bubbles in basaltic lava and rounded cavities in sedimentary formations. The most distinct features of amethyst are
extreme hardness and colorless at the inside surface to brilliantly sparkling purple or violet towards the hollow chamber that
make it suitable for jewellery.

(Figs 5.46e5.48). Calcite was formed from the may not exceed economic cost for obtaining
secretion of the sea or fresh water, with the the valuable minerals. The technological pro-
participation of plants and/or animals cess, the needs of the economy and prices in
(biochemical limestone) or by inorganic chemical the market, depends on whether and when the
processes (chemogenic limestone), as explained rock/mineral becomes raw material. For
in detail in Section 5.7.1. example, for road construction mineral raw ma-
Marble, for example, is a metamorphic rock terial is stone recovered from the quarry, and
composed of mineral calcite (Figs 6.4(A) and the stone blocks broken away from the rock
6.17) formed at high temperature and pressure mass for the construction of stone structures
deep beneath the Earth’s surface by metamor- or processing into polished slab. Rock bauxite
phic transformation of sedimentary limestone is mineral raw material for obtaining
rock (Section 6.5.2). aluminum, hematite for iron, and kaolin for
It is important to distinguish between the porcelain. Less-pure clay is mineral raw mate-
terms “rock” and “stone”. The term “stone” rial for manufacture of ceramics, and impure
means a smaller or larger part of the rock, which clay for production of tiles or bricks. Ore de-
is broken off of some rocks by a natural or tech- posits are formed in the Earth’s crust by
nical process. A list of common rocks and charac- different geological processes and accumulates
teristic features is given in Table 1.2. minerals or ores in such quantities that it is tech-
nologically possible to mine and economically
1.5. MINERAL RESOURCES profitable to gain. In such condition, the mineral
resource becomes mineral or ore reserve. The
Mineral resource is the mineral deposit con- mineral reserves/resources have been dis-
sisting of useful concentration that may or cussed in detail in Chapter 9.
TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses
% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Alabaster Alabaster is applied to two distinct minerals with prefix to “calcite” and “hydrous gypsum” representing the individual properties of each. Decorative material
(CaCO3 or and ornamental
CaSO4.2H2O) objects, e.g. vases.
(Fig. 1.12)

Andalusite Orthorhombic White, pink, red, Vitreous 6.5e7.5 Perfect on (110) 36.8 SiO2 Regional Major application
(Al2SiO5) (Fig. 1.13) brown/whitish 3.16e3.20 Uneven 63.2 Al2O3 metamorphism goes into refractory
to conchoidal and contact bricks/monolithic
metamorphic blocks used by iron
zone around and steel industry,


intrusive igneous heated to form mullite
rocks for porcelain spark
plugs and transparent
variety as gemstone
and jewelry.

Amphibole Monoclinic, Black, green, white, Vitreous 5.0e6.0 Two at acute e Occurs as Hornblende as
((Mg,Fe,Ca,Na)2e3 blocky crystals, gray/pale gray to dull 2.9e3.4 angle/uneven hornblende, semiprecious gems
(Mg,Fe,Al)5(Si,Al)8 fibrous tremolite of igneous and tremolite as
O22OH2) or metamorphic asbestos.

Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3 Hexagonal prism, White, green, Vitreous 5.0 Imperfect/uneven 41e42 P2O5 Pegmatite and Primarily as fertilizer,
(FClOH)) tabular brown/white 3.17e3.23 to conchoidal metamorphosed occasionally gemstone
limestone and as index mineral
of Mohs hardness
scale of “Five”.

Argentite (Ag2S) Cubic, octahedral Lead-gray/shining Metallic 2.0e2.5 Traces, 87.0 Ag Galena and other Primary source of
7.2e7.4 subconchoidal 13.0 S sulfide association silver, jewelry,
currency and
investment bars.

Arsenopyrite Orthorhombic Steel-gray to silver Metallic 5.5e6.0 Faint traces/ 46.0 As Hydrothermal Major source of
(FeAsS) white/grayish black 5.9e6.2 uneven, brittle 34.3 Fe veins, pegmatite, arsenic, minor ore of
19.7 S contact gold as well as
metamorphism, herbicide, alloys,
metasomatism wood preservative,
medicine, insecticide,
rat poison.

TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)

% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Barite (BaSO4) Orthorhombic, Colorless, white, Vitreous, pearly 3.3e5.0 Perfect on (001) 65.7 Ba(OH)2 Hydrothermal, Common applications
tabular light blue, 4.3e5.0 face uneven, 34.3 SO3 biogenic and are drilling fluids in
yellow/white irregular evaporation in oil, gas, mineral
leadezinc veins, exploration, filler,
in limestone paper, rubber
industry, automobiles,
sugar refining and
radiology X-ray.

Bauxite Amorphous, White, grayish, Dull, earthy 1.0e3.0 None 73.9 Al2O3 Leaching of silica Primary source of
(Al2O3$2H2O) massive, oölitic, yellow, red, 2.0e2.5 26.1 H2O and other soluble aluminum,
(Fig. 1.19) pisolitic brown/white in wet tropical or construction,
subtropical climate transport, consumer
durables, packaging,
electrical, machinery
equipment, refractory


bricks, and abrasives.

Bentonite Massive clay like White, grayish, Feeble Very soft Unctuous 66.7 SiO2 Interbeds in Extraordinary power
((Mg,Ca,Na,K) rose-red, bluish and tender 28.3 Al2O3 marine shale of swelling by 3e10
O$Al2O3$5SiO2$ 2 formed from times when immersed
nH2O alteration of in water. Drilling
with n ¼ 5e7) glassy tuffs mud, geotechnical,
pellets, bricks, tiles,
pottery, metal casting
and medical.

Beryl Hexagonal, Emerald green, Vitreous 7.5e8.0 Imperfect and 67 SiO2 Granitic pegmatite, Primary source of
(Be3Al2Si6O18) prismatic blue, yellow/ to resinous 2.63e2.80 indistinct, 19 Al2O3 mica schist, beryllium, verities of
white conchoidal 14 BeO limestone, color and
to brittle tungsten ore transparency make it
attractive gemstones,
astrology, alloys,
electronics, and

Bismuthinite (Bi2S3) Orthorhombic Lead-gray, tin- Metallic 2e2.5 Perfect on (010) 81.2 Bi Tourmaline bearing Cosmetics, medicine,
white/silver to 6.8e7.2 brittle 18.8 S hydrothermal veins pharmaceutical,
white in granite  Cu, Au glazes, soldering.
alloy (MneBi) create
strong permanent
thermocouple, acrylic
fiber and carrier for U-
235 or U-233 fuel in
nuclear reactors.
Bornite (Cu5FeS4) Orthorhombic Copper-red, Metallic 3e3.25 Imperfect on (111) 63.3 Cu In zone of secondary Source of rich-grade
bronze-brown, 4.9e5.3 conchoidal 11.1 Fe supergene copper, major
purple/black 25.6 S enrichment, source applications in
of rich copper metal electrical wires, cables,
plumbing, currency,
utensils, machinery,
alloy, architecture,
supplements and
fungicides in

Braggite Tetragonal Steel-gray Metallic 1.5 None 64 Pt Layered mafic and Source for platinum,
((Pt5Pd2Ni)S8) 9.38 27 Pd ultramafic intrusion palladium and nickel
10 Ni at high magmatic used in vehicle
temperature emission control, in
jewelry, electrodes,
spark plug, anticancer
drugs, investment,
nickel steel and


Calcite (CaCO3) Rhombohedral White, colorless, Vitreous 3 Perfect on (101) 56 CaO Main constituents of Dimension stones,
(Fig. 1.14) yellow tint/white to pearly 2.71 conchoidal, brittle 44 CO2 limestone, marble mortar, blocks of
and shells of marine pyramids,
species. monuments, statuary,
alabaster for
sculpture, flooring,
titles, architecture,
acid neutralizer,
medicine, antiaircraft
weaponry and as
index mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of

Cassiterite (SnO2) Tetragonal Brown or Adamantine, 6e7 Imperfect on (100) 78.6 Sn Hydrothermal veins, The chief tin ore
black/white, metallic, greasy 6.8e7.1 subconchoidal, 21.4 O alluvial and placer throughout ancient
gray, brown brittle as resistant history and remains
weathered grains. primary source of tin
metal as plate, cans,
container, solder and
polishing compounds
and alloys.


TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)
% Content of

Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Cerussite Orthorhombic, White, gray, black, Adamantine, 3e3.5 Good on (110) and 83.5 PbO Delicate acicular Secondary source of
(PbCO3) (Fig. 1.22) pseudohexagonal, green/white resinous, pearly 6.46 (021) conchoidal, 16.5 CO2 ore at Broken Hill lead metal that
fibrous form brittle mine, Australia, constitutes as key
Friedrichssegen, ingredient in paints,
Germany. plumbing, bullets,
automobile battery,
alloys, sheet/brick as
radiation shield and
sensitive, health
hazards, slow

Chalcocite Orthorhombic Black lead-gray/ Metallic 2.5e3 Indistinct on (110) 79.8 Cu Zone of secondary Source of rich copper
(Cu2S) shiny black 5.5e5.8 conchoidal 20.2 S supergene with major
enrichment, source applications in
of rich copper electrical wires, cables,


metal. plumbing, currency,
utensils, machinery,
alloy, architecture and
supplements and
fungicides in

Chalcopyrite Tetragonal Brass-yellow, Metallic 3.5e4 Indistinct on (011) 34.5 Cu Large massive, Primary source of
(CuFeS2) (Fig. 1.20) often tarnished/ 4.1e4.3 uneven, brittle 30.5 Fe irregular veins, copper metal with
greenish black 35.0 S disseminated and major applications in
porphyry deposit electrical wires, cables,
at granitic/dioritic plumbing, currency,
intrusive and utensils, machinery,
SEDEX type alloy, architecture,
supplements and
fungicides in

Chromite Isometric, Black, brown/ Submetallic 5.5 None 68.0 Cr2O3 Layered Primary source of
(FeCr2O4) (Fig. 1.23) octahedron, brown 4.1e4.9 Uneven, brittle 32.0 FeO maficeultramafic chromium and
massive intrusion at high applications in hard
magmatic rustles steel, chrome
temperature, plating, anodizing of
differential aluminum,
segregation, and superalloys, refractory
crystallization bricks, pigments and
dyes, synthetic ruby,
wood preservative,
leather tanning and
catalysts for
Cinnabar (HgS) Rhombohedral, Cochineal-red, Adamantine, 2.0e2.5 Perfect, prismatic 86.2 Hg Vein-filling by Primary source of
(Fig. 1.24) trapezohedral brownish-red/ metallic 8.0e8.2 Subconchoidal 13.8 S recent volcanic mercury, industrial
scarlet and dull activity and acid chemicals, electrical,
alkaline hot electronic,
spring thermometers,
medicine, cosmetics,
pigment, fluorescent
sensitive due to health
and safety

Coal Compact, Black Dull 0.5e2.5 Nil þ91.5 C Gradual change of Significant uses are in
C, O and H, N, S massive to brilliant 1.0e1.8 Conchoidal, 3.75 H vegetation (wood) the form of fuel and
(Anthracite and uneven 2.5 O buried under energy, electricity
bituminous coal) 1 S sediments generation,
7e12 volatile gasification,
purposes like
production of steel,
cement and liquid


Cobaltite (CoAsS) Orthorhombic, Reddish silver white, Metallic 5.5 Perfect on (001) 35.5 Co High-temperature Industrially useful
pseudocubic violet steel-gray/ 6.0e6.3 Uneven 45.2 As hydrothermal and metal, high-
grayish 19.3 S contact metamorphic temperature
black deposit with superalloy, steel tools,
magnetite, sphalerite lithium cobalt oxide
battery, pigments and
coloring, radioisotope
and electroplating
owing to its attractive
appearance, hardness
and resistance to

Corundum (Al2O3) Hexagonal, Colorless, gray, Adamantine 9 Absent 52.9 Al In mica schist, Colorful gemstones,
six-sided prism brown, pink to to vitreous 3.95e4.10 Conchoidal to 47.1 O gneiss, low silica tiny jewelry, abrasive,
pigeon-blood-red/ uneven nepheline syenite, grinding media and as
white lamprophyre dyke index mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of

Covellite (CuS) Hexagonal Indigo-blue, brass- Submetallic, 1.5e2.0 Perfect on (0001) 66.4 Cu Zone of secondary Natural
yellow, deep-red/ resinous, dull 4.6e4.8 Flexible in thin 33.6 S supergene superconductor chips,
Lead gray lamina enrichment, source electrical wires, cables,
of rich copper plumbing, currency,
metal utensils, machinery,
alloy, architecture,
supplements and
fungicides in


TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)

% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Cuprite (Cu2O) Isometric Cochineal-red, Adamantine, 3.5e4.0 Interrupted on (111) 88.8 Cu Zone of oxidation, Applications in
plagiohedral crimson-red, submetallic, 5.85e6.15 Conchoidal, uneven 11.2 O secondary electrical wires, cables,
black/shining earthy black enrichment, source plumbing, currency,
brown, red of rich copper metal utensils, machinery,
alloy, architecture,
supplements and
fungicides in

Diamond (C) Isometric, Colorless, yellow, Adamantine to 10 Perfect on (111) Pure carbon Kimberlite, potassic Unique properties of
octahedral, orange, blue, greasy 3.516e3.525 Conchoidal, brittle volcanic pipes, diamond make it
hexoctahedral green/colorless conglomerate and suitable for super
alluvial deposits quality gemstone,
jewelry (Koh-i-Noor,


Millennium Star),
abrasive, cutting tool,
drill bit and as index
mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of

Epidote Monoclonic Pistachio-green, Vitreous 6e7 Perfect (001). e Product of Perfect transparency
(Mg6Fe6Al10Si4 yellow, brown/ to resinous 3.3e3.6 Imperfect (100) hydrothermal and deep colors
(OH)8O10) grayish white Flat to uneven alteration and suitable for
metamorphic origin semiprecious
in schist and marble gemstone.

Feldspar Monclinic Pink, white, gray, Vitreous 6.0e6.5 Two or three/ 18.4 Al2O3 In most igneous Primary use in
(NaAlSi3O8- or triclinic brown/white 2.55e2.76 along cleavage 16.9 K rocks and felsic ceramics, glass
KAlSi3O8- plane 64.7 SiO2 lavas manufacture, fillers,
CaAl2Si2O8) paints, plastics, rubber
and as index mineral
of Mohs hardness
scale of “Six”.

Fluorite (CaF2) Isometric with White, purple, Vitreous 4 Indistinct 51.1 Ca Vein with metallic Flux in steel
(Fig. 1.15 and 1.32) cubic habit blue, green, 3.01e3.25 Glassy 48.9 F minerals, manufacture,
yellow/white occasionally of opalescent glass,
hydrothermal enamels for cooking
origin utensils, hydrofluoric
acid, high-
telescopes, camera
lens and as index
mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of
Galena (PbS) Isometric, Lead gray and Metallic 2.5e2.75 Perfect cubic 86.6 Pb Individually or Primary source of lead
(Fig. 1.21) granular cubes silvery/lead gray 7.2e7.6 on (001) 13.4 S associated with zinc metal and constitutes
Subconchoidal and copper sulfide as key ingredient in
deposit paint, plumbing,
bullets, automobile
battery, alloys, sheet,
radiation shield,
electrodes, ceramic-
glazes, stained glass
and cosmetics.
sensitive and health

Garnet Isometric Pink, red, brown, Vitreous 6.5e7.5 Indistinct/ e Widely distributed Brilliant bright red
(Ca3Al2(SiO4)3) green/white 3.1e4.3 conchoidal to in metamorphic colors and
(Fig. 1.16) uneven rocks, e.g. mica transparency make
schist attractive
gemstone and inferior
quality as abrasive,


steel cutting, leather
and wood polishing
and water filtration

Graphite (C) Hexagonal Iron black, dark Metallic, 1.0e2.0 Basal perfect, on 70e85 C Reduction of Steel making,
steel-gray/black dull, earthy 2.09e2.23 (001) Flaky sedimentary carbon crucibles, refractory,
compounds during batteries, break lining,
metamorphism foundry facings,
lubricants, pencil and

Gypsum Monoclinic, Colorless to white, Vitreous, pearly, 1.5e2 Perfect (010) 32.5 CaO As evaporite beds Plaster-board for
(CaSO4$2H2O) prismatic and yellowish/white silky, waxy 2.31e2.33 Conchoidal, 46.6 SO3 deposited in lake, walls and ceilings,
(Fig. 1.17) flattened splintery 20.9 H2O sea, hot spring and surgical splints,
by-product of casting molds,
sulfide oxidation modeling, fertilizer
and soil conditioner,
cement, insulation,
alabaster for
sculpture, wood
substitute and as
index mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of


TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)
% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Halite (NaCl) Isometric, usually Colorless, white, Vitreous 2.5 Cubic perfect on 39.4 Na Vast beds of Extensively used in
(Fig. 1.9) in cubes purple, red, pink, 2.1e2.6 (001) Conchoidal, 60.6 Cl sedimentary cooking as a flavor
yellow/white brittle evaporate, salt enhancer and
domes and pipes preservative to cure a
essentially wide variety of foods
“squeezed up” such as fish, meat and
from underlying pickles, soda ash for
salt beds glass, soap and
bleaching industry.
Salt aids in managing
ice and spreading salt
on walkways and
driveways after snow



Hematite (Fe2O3) Rhombohedral Black or steel- Metallic, 5.5e6.5 Indistinct 70.0 Fe Large volume of Primary source of iron
(Fig. 1.25) gray/cherry-red splendent, dull 4.9e5.3 Subconchoidal to 30.0 O banded hematitee and steel industry,
uneven, brittle quartzite ancient “Crypto-
Minoan script”, red/
black carvings,
casting, ornamental
jewelry, paints and
cosmetics, alloys.

Ilmenite (FeTiO3) Trirhombohedral Iron-black/black Submetallic 5.0e6.0 Absent 31.6 Ti Accessory to Alloy for high tech in
to brown red to metallic 4.5e5.0 Conchoidal 36.8 Fe igneous rock aerospace and
31.6 O especially gabbros medical application,
and diorites deoxidizer in stainless
steel, often alloyed
with copper, iron,
aluminum, vanadium,
molybdenum for
sheet, plate, bar, wire,
forgings, castings and

Kaolin (Al4Si4O10 Monoclinic, White, red, blue, Pearly 2.0e2.5 Basal, perfect 46.5 SiO2 Decomposition of Paper, rubber
(OH)8) (Fig. 2.16) rarely as crystal brown/white to dull earthy 2.6e2.63 Flexible, inelastic 39.7 Al2O3 aluminous manufacture, coating
minerals, e.g. clay, linoleum, paints,
feldspar of granites inks, leather,
and gneisses. refractory, pottery,
stoneware, bricks,
insecticide, plastics
and fertilizers.
Kayanite Triclinic, Blue, white, Vitreous 5.0e7.0 Two perfect in (100) 36.8 SiO2 Occurs in gneiss, Heating element,
(3Al2O3, 2SiO2) bladed form green, 3.53e3.65 and (010) plane/ 63.2 Al2O3 schist, pegmatite, electrical insulation,
pink/white splintery quartz veins electronics, ceramic
resulting from high- and refractory
pressure industry, porcelain
metamorphism plumbing fixtures,

Lepidolite (Li-mica Monoclinic, Red-rose, violet, Translucent 2.5e4.0 Basal highly perfect e High-temperature Source of lithium,
(OH,F)2KLiAl2 tabular to lilac/white 2.8e3.3 on (001) quartz veins in battery, flux and
Si3O10) prismatic Uneven greisens (altered) coloring of ceramics
granites and and glass, electrical
pegmatite and electronics,
lubricating greases,
alloys, air purification,
medicine for bipolar
disorder, rocket
propellant and
nuclear fusion.

Magnesite Rhombohedral White, yellow, Vitreous 3.5e4.5 Perfect 47.6 MgO Alteration product Refractory bricks in
(MgCO3) gray, transparent/ 3.0e3.12 Conchoidal, flat 52.4 CO2 of magnesium-rich metallurgical


white ultramafic rocks furnaces, cement
industry, slag former
in steel making,
catalyst and filler in
synthetic rubber,
chemicals and
fertilizers, and dyed

Magnetite Isometric and Black, gray with Metallic 5.5e6.5 Indistinct 72.4 Fe Common in igneous Source of sulfur, low-
(FeO$Fe2O3) common in brownish 5.17e5.18 Subconchoidal to 27.6 O rocks, placer-type grade iron ore and
octahedrons tint/black uneven, brittle aggregate and beach occasionally
sand ornamental stone.
Commercially less

Marcasite (FeS2) Orthorhombic Pale-bronze Metallic 6.0e6.5 Distinct on (110) 46.6 Fe Shale, coal, Iron and steel
yellow/black 4.85e4.99 Uneven, brittle 53.4 S limestone, and industry.
hydrothermal veins

Marmatite Isometric, Dark brown to Metallic, 3.5e4.0 Perfect 46e56 Zn An opaque black Source of zinc metal.
((ZnFe)S) tetrahedral black/brown resinous 3.9e4.05 Conchoidal, brittle <20 Fe iron-rich variety of
Rest S sphalerite.

Mica Monoclinic sheets, Colorless, brown, Pearly 2.0e2.5 Perfect and parallel e Widely occurs in Primary use in
(Aluminosilicate books black, 2.76e3.2 to base igneous, insulator, electrical,
of K/Na, Fe/Mg green/white metamorphic, electronic, heat proof
and rarely Li or Cr) sedimentary rocks windows, optical
filters, thermal
regulators, microwave
ovens, well drilling

fluids, and asphalt

TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)

% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Millerite (NiS) Rhombohedral Pale brass or Metallic 3.0e3.5 Perfect, uneven, 64.7 Ni Radiating cluster of High-grade source for
bronze yellow/ 5.3e5.65 brittle 35.3 S acicular needles in Ni, used for stainless
greenish black ultramafic steel, superalloys,
serpentinite bodies electroplating, alnico
magnets, coinage,
rechargeable batteries,
electric guitar strings,
microphone capsules,
and green tint in glass.

Molybdenite Hexagonal Black, lead-silver- Metallic 1.0e1.5 Perfect on (001) 60.0 Mo High-temperature Primary source of
(MoS2) gray/bluish gray 4.7e4.8 Flexible lamellae 40.0 S hydrothermal ore of molybdenum,
chalcopyrite, pyrite, corrosion resistance
molybdenite ferroalloy, Mo metal
and superalloys,
stainless steels,
lubricant, tools and


high-speed steels, cast
iron, electrodes,
fertilizers, and
pollution control in
power plants.

Monazite Monoclinic Hyacinth-red, Resinous to 5.0e5.5 Distinct on (100) 48 Ce Mainly as placer Important source rare
((CaLaTh)PO4) clove brown, adamantine 4.9e5.3 Poor on (010) 24 La deposit and beach earth metals like
reddish brown/ Conchoidal, 17 Nd sand thorium, lanthanum,
white uneven, brittle cerium, neodymium
etc. used for
radioactive dating and
gaslight mantle.

Olivine Orthorhombic, Yellow, green, blue, Vitreous 6.5e7.0 Poor in e Constituents of Spectacular green
((Mg,Fe)2SiO4) Tabular brown/white 3.27e3.37 one direction basic and ultrabasic colored verities as
intrusive magma gems. Aluminum
foundry industries
utilize olivine sand
mold to cast objects in

Niccolite or Hexagonal Pale copper-red/ Metallic 5.0e5.5 Massive, reniform- 43.9 Ni Layered Rarely used due to
nickeline (NiAs) Pale brownish 7.33e7.67 columnar, 56.1 As maficeultramafic presence of arsenic,
black Uneven, brittle intrusion at high deleterious to
magmatic smelting and milling,
temperature, except blending with
differential “clean” ore, which the
segregation mill and smelter can
handle with
acceptable recovery.
Pentlandite ((Fe, Isometric Pale-bronze yellow/ Metallic 3.5e4.0 Absent, octahedral 22 Ni Layered Primary source of
Ni)9S8) bronze-brown 4.6e5.0 parting 42 Fe maficeultramafic nickel associated with
Uneven 36 S intrusion at high PGE, tarnish-resistant
magmatic stainless steel,
temperature, superalloys,
differential electroplating, alnico
segregation magnets, coinage,
rechargeable batteries,
electric guitar strings,
microphone capsules,
and green tint in glass.

Psilomelane Massive and Iron black, steel- Submetallic, 5.0e7.0 None 50.0 Mn Primarily is Source of manganese,
(MnO2) botryoidally gray/brownish dull 3.3e4.7 Conchoidal, uneven sedimentary and essential to iron and
black less frequently of steel making,
hydrothermal aluminum alloy,
origin additive in unleaded
gasoline to boost
octane rating, dry cell
battery, coinage and
drier in paints.


Pyrite (FeS2) Isometric, cubic Pale brass-yellow, Metallic, shiny, 6e6.5 Indistinct on (001) 46.6 Fe Common in all Main uses are
(Fig. 1.26 and 1.32) often tarnished/ glossy 4.95e5.10 Very uneven 53.4 S rocks and massive production of sulfur-
greenish-brownish sometime sulfide deposits dioxide for paper and
black conchoidal associated with sulfuric acid for
gold chemical industry,
rarely mined for iron
content due to
complex metallurgy
and commercially
uneconomic. Acid
drainage and dust
explosion are common
hazards with pyrite

Pyrolusite Orthorhombic, Iron black, dark Metallic 2.0e2.5 Perfect on (110) 63.0 Mn Primarily is Source of manganese,
(MnO2) usually columnar steel-gray/black 4.73e4.80 sedimentary and essential to iron and
less frequently of steel making,
hydrothermal aluminum alloy,
origin additive in unleaded
gasoline to boost
octane rating, dry cell
batteries, coloring in
bricks, and decoloring
in glass and pottery.

Pyroxene (silicates Monoclinic, Green, brown, Vitreous, pearly, 5.0e6.0 Perfect/irregular, e Occurs as augite, Gems and ornamental
of Fe/Mg, Ca/Al orthorhombic blue/white resinous 3.2e3.6 uneven, conchoidal diopside, stones, ceramics and
rarely with Na/Li) hypersthene glass-ceramics.

TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)

% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Pyrrhotite Hexagonal Bronze-yellow to Metallic 3.5e4.5 Absent 60.4 Fe Common in mafic No specific
(FenSnþ1) (Fig. 1.27) copper-red/black 4.58e4.64 Uneven 39.6 S and layered application other than
intrusive and source of sulfur for
sulfide deposits making sulfuric acid,
rarely for recovering
iron due to complex
metallurgy and often
nickel bearing.

Quartz (SiO2) Hexagonal Colorless to black Vitreous, waxy 7.0 Indistinct 46.7 Si Occurs universally Source of silicon
(Fig. 1.11) through various to dull when 2.65 Conchoidal 53.3 O in all rocks except compounds,
shades/white massive pure limestone, polymers. Due to
marble, gabbro, thermal-chemical
basalt, and stability and
peridotite abundance widely
used as building


material, mortar,
ceramics, cement,
foundry, abrasives,
clock, oscillators,
gemstone, porcelain,
glass, paint, acid flux
in smelting furnaces
and as index mineral
of Mohs hardness
scale of “Seven”.

Rhodochrosite Trigonal, Brilliant pink, Vitreous 3.5e4.0 Perfect 61.7 MnO Hydrothermal An ore of manganese,
(MnCO3) hexagonal cherry red, and pearly 3.7 Uneven, conchoidal 38.3 CO2 veins with other aluminum alloys,
yellow/white and brittle low-temperature brilliant transparent
manganese verities as decorative
minerals stone and jewelry.

Rhodonite Triclinic Rose-pink, red, Vitreous 5.5e6.5 Perfect/conchoidal 54.1 MnO Associated in Used mainly as
((Mn2þ Fe2þ yellow/white to pearly 3.57e3.76 to uneven 45.9 SiO2 manganese and iron ornamental and
Mg,Ca) SiO3) ore deposits decorative stones.

Rutile (TiO2) Tetragonal, acicular Wine-red, Metallic, 6.0e6.5 Perfect on (110) 60.0 Ti Heavy mineral in Source of titanium.
to prismatic reddish brown/ adamantine 4.18e4.25 Twining common, 40.0 O beach sand Rutile used as
pale brown subconchoidal, refractory, ceramic,
uneven welding electrode
cover, sunscreen to
protect UV-induced
skin damage and
brilliant white
pigment in paint,
plastics and paper.
Scheelite (CaWO4) Tetragonale White, yellow, Vitreous, 4.5e5.0 Perfect on (111) 80.6 WO3 Contact Source of strategically
pyramidal brown, green, adamantine 5.9e6.1 Uneven, brittle 19.4 CaO metamorphic skarn, important tungsten
red/white in high-temperature metal, filaments for
hydrothermal veins light bulbs-electronic
and greisens, less tubes and furnace,
commonly in granite abrasives, super
and pegmatite heavy alloyed with
nickel, cobalt and iron
as kinetic energy
penetrators (small
arms bullets designed
to penetrate), armor,
cannon shells,
grenades and missiles
to create supersonic

Sillimanite Orthorhombic Off-white, gray, Vitreous 6e7 Perfect in (010) 36.8 SiO2 Gneiss, schist, Glass industry, high-
(Al2O(SiO4)) brown/white 3.23e3.24 Splintery 63.2 Al2O3 pegmatite, quartz alumina refractory,
veins resulting from quality porcelain.



Skutterudite Isometric- Tin-white, Metallic 5.5e6.0 Distinct on (100) e Hydrothermal ore Strategically and
(CoAs3) (Fig. 1.28) octahedral- lead-gray/black 6.5e6.9 Conchoidal, uneven found in moderate- industrially useful,
pyritohedral to high-temperature high-temperature
veins with other superalloy, steel tools,
NieCo minerals lithium cobalt oxide
battery, pigments and
coloring, radioisotope
and electroplating
owing to its attractive
appearance, hardness
and resistance to

Smithsonite Rhombohedral White, green, Vitreous, pearly 4.5e5.5 Perfect 64.8 ZnO A secondary mineral Secondary source of
(ZnCO3) brown, pink, 4.3e4.4 Uneven, 35.2 CO2 in weathering/ zinc, main
yellow, white subconchoidal oxidation zone of applications in
zinc-bearing ore galvanizing, alloys,
deposits cosmetics,
micronutrient for
human, animals and

Sperrylite Cubic-pyritohedral Tin-white/black Metallic 6.0e7.0 Indistinct 57.0 Pt Layered igneous Primary source of
(PtAs2) 10.58 conchoidal complex platinum, automobile
emission controls
devices, jewelry,
catalyst, electrode,
anticancer drug,

oxygen sensors, spark
plug and turbine

TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)

% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Sphalerite (ZnS) Isometric- Brown, black, Adamantine, 3.5e4 Perfect on (110) 67.0 Zn Majority as large Primary source of
(Fig. 1.29) tetrahedral honey yellow/ resinous, 3.9e4.1 Uneven 33.0 S SEDEX-type zinc, main
brownish, pale greasy to conchoidal deposits associated applications in
yellow with galena, galvanizing, alloys,
chalcopyrite cosmetics,
and silver pharmaceutical,
micronutrient for
human, animals and

Stannite Tetragonal Steel-gray to iron- Metallic 3.5e4.0 Cubic, indistinct 27.5 Sn Hydrothermal vein Primary source of tin
(Cu2S$FeS$SnS2) black/black 4.3e4.52 Uneven 29.5 Cu deposit containing and copper.
13.1 Fe Sn, Cu, Zn, W, Fe,
29.9 S Ag, and As

Staurolite Orthorhombic, Brown with tinge Vitreous 7.0e7.5 Poor cleavage High-grade regional Index mineral to


(Fe2Al9O7 prismatic of red or orange/ 3.74e3.83 on (010)/ metamorphic rocks, estimate the
(OH)(SiO4)4) white to gray subconchoidal e.g. garnet mica temperature, depth,
schist and pressure at which
a rock undergoes

Stibnite (Sb2S3) Orthorhombic Lead-gray, Metallic, 2 Highly perfect 71.7 Sb Hydrothermal Primary source of
(Fig. 1.30) tarnishing black/ splendent 4.52e4.62 on (010) 28.3 S deposits associated antimony, flame
lead-gray Subconchoidal with other sulfide retardant, textiles and
minerals coatings, fiber, alloy
with lead for batteries,
plain bearings and

Sulfur native (S) Orthorhombic Yellow, straw, Resinous 1.5e2.5 Imperfect 100.0 S Natural elemental Sulfuric acid, fertilizer
greenish, reddish/ 2.05e2.09 Conchoidal form, sulfide and chemicals, fungicide
white to uneven sulfate minerals and pesticide,
bactericide in wine
making and food

Sylvite (KCl) Isometric Colorless, white, Vitreous 2.0 Perfect on (100) 52.4 K Evaporite mineral Source of potash and
blue, yellow/white 1.97e1.99 (010) (001) 47.6 Cl precipitates out of principal use as
Uneven solution in very dry fertilizers.
saline areas

Sylvanite Monoclinic Steel-graysilver- Metallic 1.5e2.0 Perfect on (010) 24.5 Au Most commonly in Sylvanite represents a
((AuAg)Te2) white, yellow/ brilliant 7.9e8.3 Uneven 13.4 Ag low-temperature minor source of silver,
steel-gray 62.1 Te hydrothermal veins gold and tellurium.
Talc Orthorhombic, White with gray, Wax like 1 Perfect on (001) 31.7 MgO Metamorphism of Cosmetics, paint and
(3MgO, monoclinic green and brown or pearly 2.7e2.8 basal cleavage 63.5 SiO2 magnesium coating, plastic, paper
4SiO2H2O) Granular tinge/white, pearl Uneven pattern 4.8 H2O minerals, e.g. making, rubber,
and fibrous green serpentine, ceramics,
pyroxene, olivine pharmaceutical,
from ultramafic electric cable,
rocks detergents, food
additive and as index
mineral of Mohs
hardness scale of

Topaz Orthorhombic Straw-yellow, Vitreous 8 Perfect on (001) e Commonly Brilliancy and

((AlF)2SiO4) wine-yellow, colorless, 3.4e3.6 Subconchoidal, associated with transparency rank it
green, uneven silicic igneous rocks attractive as
blue, white of granite, pegmatite gemstone, birthstone,
and rhyolite type jewelry, astrology and
as index mineral of
Mohs hardness scale


of “Eight”.

Tourmaline Rhombohedral, Black, brown, Vitreous 7e7.5 Indistinct e Product of Transparent verities
(complex hexagonal green, violet/ to resinous 3e3.2 Glassy, pneumatolytic as semiprecious gems,
borosilicate white conchoidal, process of igneous piezeoelectricity,
of Al, Mg, Fe, brittle rock formation therapeutic
Mn, Cr, Li) application as
(Fig. 1.18) relaxation of body and
mind, hair care

Uraninite (UO3) Isometric Steel-velvet-brown Submetallic, 5.0e6.0 Indistinct 88.0 U Hydrothermal Fuel for nuclear
black/black, green greasy 10.63e Conchoidal colloform veins in reactor to generate
10.95 to uneven granitic and syenitic sustainable electricity
pegmatite and for civilian purposes,
quartz-pebble for propulsion of
conglomerates naval warships for
military and nuclear
powered icebreaking.

Wolframite Monoclinic, Dark grayish or Submetallic, 5.0e5.5 Perfect on (010) 76.0 W Granite and Main source of
((Fe,Mn)WO4) tabular, brownish black/ resinous 7.0e7.5 Uneven, rough pegmatite veins tungsten, strong and
(Fig. 1.31) prismatic reddish brown formed under dense metal with high
pneumatolytic melting temperature
condition used for electric
filaments, bulb, alloy,
cutting material,
armor piercing
ammunitions like shot
and shell in defense.

TABLE 1.1 List of Common Nonmetallic and Metallic Minerals, Diagnostic Features and Uses (cont'd)
% Content of
Name Hardness Valuable Origin or
(Formula) Crystal System Color/Streak Luster */Sp. Gr Cleavage/Fracture Component Occurrence Major Uses

Wollastonite Triclinic, White, gray, colorless/ Vitreous, dull, 4.5e5.0 Perfect in two 48.3 CaO Thermally Principal ingredient in
(CaSiO3) monoclinic, white pearly 2.86e3.09 directions at 90 51.7 SiO2 metamorphosed ceramics industry,
impure limestone paint, paper,
polymers and



Zincite (ZnO) Hexagonal- Deep-red, orange- Submetallic 4.0e4.5 Perfect, prismatic 80.3 Zn Both natural and Rich ore of zinc.
hemimorphic yellow/orange- 5.43e7.7 Conchoidal 19.7 O synthetic Zincite crystals are
yellow significant as
semiconductor in
early development of
crystal radios before
the advent of vacuum

Zircon (ZrSiO4) Tetragonal Red, brown, yellow, Vitreous, 7.5 Indistinct on (110) 67.2 ZrO2 Common trace Alloy in nuclear
green/white adamantine, 4.6e4.7 and (111) 32.8 SiO2 mineral in granite reactors, as a pacifier
greasy Conchoidal, and felsic igneous in the decorative
uneven rocks ceramics, refractory
and foundry
industries, gemstone
and radiometric age

* Mohs hardness scale.

Source: Refs 33, 9 and internet.
TABLE 1.2 Lists of Common Rocks and Diagnostic Features under Overall Classification

Name Color Composition Texture Major Uses


Granite (Figs 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, White, gray, black, pink Quartz, feldspar biotite Massive plutonic Building and decorative
4.12, 4.14 and 4.15) to red mica  amphibole intrusive, granular and stones, tiles, kitchen counter,
crystalline formed as ancient and modern
batholiths sculptures, engineering,
curling and rock climbing.
Pegmatite Mix of red, white, gray, Same as granite  tourmaline, Exceptionally large Source of rare earth and
cream, silvery and dark topaz, beryl crystals intrusive dyke, gemstone viz. aquamarine,
veins in and near granite tourmaline, topaz, beryl,
fluorite, apatite, corundum,
mica-books, lithium, tin and


Syenite (Fig. 4.16) Typically light color of Same as granite with Coarse-grained intrusive Better fire-resistant qualities
white, gray, and pink quartz <5% þ nepheline igneous rock suitable for dimension stone
for building facings, foyers
and aggregate in road
Monzonite Typically light color of Equal amount of Medium- to coarse- Seldom as host rock for gold
(adamellite) white, gray, pink, brown, orthoclase and grained intrusive and silver deposits, primarily
and bronze plagioclase with igneous rock used as building stone for
<5% quartz monuments (The Mormon
temple, Salt Lake City, Utah),
Granodiorite Light gray Plagioclase exceeds Large phaneritic crystal Most often used as crushed
orthoclase, and due to slow cooling stone for road building and
þ20% quartz occasionally as ornamental
Diorite Typically speckled black Principally of plagioclase Intrusive igneous rock Aggregate, fill in construction
and white with bluish, feldspar and intermediate between and road industries, cut and
greenish and brownish ferromagnesian minerals granite and gabbro with polished for dimension stone
tinge (biotite, hornblende and medium to coarse for building facings and
pyroxene) phaneritic texture foyers, statue and vase made
during ancient Inca, Mayan
and Egyptian civilization.


TABLE 1.2 Lists of Common Rocks and Diagnostic Features under Overall Classification (cont'd)

Name Color Composition Texture Major Uses

Gabbro (Fig. 4.17) Dark gray, black, Chiefly ferromagnesian Coarse-grained intrusive Often contains Cr, Ni, Co, Cu
greenish and rarely Fe-rich clinopyroxene mafic igneous rock Au, Ag, Pt and Pd. Common
reddish (augite) at greater than usages are ornamental facing,
equal to plagioclase paving, graveyard headstone
at funerary rites and kitchen
Norite (Figs 4.22 Light to dark gray, Ca-rich plagioclase Mafic intrusive igneous Occurs in association with
and 4.23) brownish (labradorite), Mg-rich rock, indistinguishable mafic (gabbro)/ultramafic
orthopyroxene from gabbro, other than layered intrusion e.g.
(enstatite) and olivine type of pyroxene under Bushveld (South Africa) and
microscope Stillwater (Montana, USA)
with large platinum group of
deposits. Usages are
ornamental facing, paving,


graveyard headstone at
funerary rites and kitchen
Anorthosite (Fig. 4.24) White, yellowish to Predominance of Phaneritic intrusive Source of titanium,
brown, gray, blush, plagioclase feldspar igneous rock aluminum, gemstones,
smoky pigment (90e100%) and mafic building material and
components of pyroxene, scientific research of similar
magnetite, ilmenite composition of Moon, Mars,
(0e10%)  olivine Venus and meteorites.
Peridotite Dark green and Magnesium-rich olivine Dense coarse-grained Layered intrusive variety is
(Fig. 4.27) greenish gray and pyroxene, <45% layered ultramafic most suitable host rock of
silica igneous intrusive chromium, nickel, copper and
(plutonic) rock platinumepalladium ore
bodies, and glassy green type
as gem and ornamental
Pyroxenite Dark green, gray Essentially pyroxene Dense coarse-grained Source of MgO as flux in
and brown (augite and diopside), layered ultramafic metallurgical blast furnace,
hypersthene (bronzite igneous intrusive refractory and foundry
and enstatite) (plutonic) rock applications, filtering media
and filler, building materials
and sculptures and often host
deposits of CreNieCue
Platinum group of minerals.
Dunite Usually light to dark þ90% olivine, typically Igneous plutonic Finely grounded dunite used
(Figs 4.29 and 4.31) green with pearly or Mg/Fe ratio at 9:1 ultramafic layered coarse- as sequesters of CO2 and
greasy look grained or phaneritic mitigate global climate
texture change, source of MgO as flux
in metallurgical blast furnace,
refractory and foundry
applications, filtering media
and filler and often host
deposits of CreNieCue
Platinum group of minerals.
Rhyolite White, gray, pink Predominantly quartz, Igneous is felsic extrusive Suitable as aggregate, fill in
(volcanic equivalent alkali feldspar (volcanic) rock with construction, building
of granite) (Fig. 4.33) (orthoclase/microcline) glassy, aphanitic or material and road industries,
porphyritic texture decorative rock in
landscaping, cutting tool,
abrasive and jewelry.


Dacite Black, dark gray, Mostly of plagioclase Felsic extrusive rock with Suitable as aggregate, fill in
(volcanic equivalent pale brown, yellow feldspar with quartz, aphanitic and porphyritic construction, building
of granodiorite) and pink biotite, hornblende, texture, composition material and road industries,
augite  enstatite between rhyolite and andesite decorative rock in
landscaping, cutting tool,
abrasive and jewelry.
Andesite White, gray, black, Dominated by Extrusive igneous rock Suitable mainly for naturally
(volcanic equivalent pale brown, green plagioclase with with aphanitic and slip-resistant tiles, bricks,
of diorite) pyroxene, hornblende, porphyritic texture, water or landscape gardens,
biotite and garnet composition between aggregates, and fill in
dacite and basalt construction.
Basalt Dark gray to black and Plagioclase feldspar Common extrusive Used most commonly as
(volcanic equivalent green, rapidly weathered (labradorite), pyroxene, igneous rock with construction materials
of gabbro/norite) to brown and rust-red olivine, biotite and aphanetic texture due to rapid (building blocks, flooring
(Figs 4.3, 4.4, 4.36 hornblende cooling on surface, titles and aggregates, road
and 4.37) very fine-grained and surface and railway track),
firmly detectable under cobblestone in pavement
microscope (columnar variety),
architecture, statues,
stoneewool fiber as excellent
thermal insulator.


TABLE 1.2 Lists of Common Rocks and Diagnostic Features under Overall Classification (cont'd)

Name Color Composition Texture Major Uses

Dolerite or diabase Dark gray, black Elongated lath-shaped Fine- to medium-grained Used as crushed stone in road
(equivalent to plutonic gabbro and greenish euhedral plagioclase subvolcanic rock occurs making, concrete mixture in
or (w60%) in fine matrix of as dyke and sill easily rough masonry, block paving
volcanic basalt) pyroxene (w30% augite), recognized by style of and ornamental stone in
(Figs 4.19 and 4.20) olivine (w10%), occurrence in the field monumental purposes.
magnetite and ilmenite

Komatiite Light shades of gray, Extremely high Rare and area restricted Massive nickel, copper sulfide
brown, green, yellow magnesium-rich mafic subvolcanic and gold deposits are hosted
forsteritic olivine, calcic intrusive rock by Komatiite in S. Africa,
and chromian pyroxene Australia and Canada.
and chromite

Mudstones/Claystone Grey, black, Extremely minute clay Fine-grained sedimentary Brick and ceramics, fillers,


chocolate red particles rock, finely bedded bleaching agents, pigments in
paint and suspending media
in drilling.
Siltstone White, gray, Quartz and clay Clastic sediments, grain Road and building material.
crimson, red size coarser than
mudstone and finer than
Argillites Black, gray, violet, Lithified mud and oozes Hard, compact, indurated Carvings, helmets, masks,
blue clay totems, fetishes, stylized,
souvenirs, amulets, brooches,
candle holders, containers
(bowls and boxes), flutes,
medallions, pendants, plates,
platters and poles.

Shale White, gray with shades Argillaceous sediments Minutely fine-grained, Used as filler in paint, plastic,
of red, brown, yellow- of aluminosilicates and soft, homogeneous, roofing cement, bricks;
ocher, blue and black clay minerals (kaoline, thinly laminated dimensional stone for
montmorillonite, illete landscaping, paving,
and chlorite) driveway material, and
reservoir for oil and gas.
Graywacke Dark gray, black, yellow, Angular grains of quartz, Poorly sorted immature Widely used as aggregate,
(Fig. 5.31) brown feldspar and rock sedimentary rock with fill in construction, road
fragments set in compact clay- fine clay to assorted industries, armor rock for sea
matrix fragments walls and sculpture by power
Sandstone Yellow, brown, white, Quartz and/or feldspar Fine to coarse sand size Building material for
(Figs 5.27 and 5.30) red, gray, pink, tan and and other durable grains cemented by very domestic houses, palaces,
black minerals interspace fine matrix temples, cathedrals, ancient
cemented forts, ornamental fountains,
statues, roof tops, grindstone,
blades and other equipments.
Significant collector rocks for
water, oil and gas.
Limestone (Figs 5.46, White, gray, black, buff, Mainly calcite and Chemogenic sedimentary Architecture and sculpture
5.47, 5.48 and 5.63) yellow and shades of aragonite, skeletal rock with soft, fine to (pyramid, monuments,
brown, purple, orange, fragments of marine organism coarse crystalline shelly historical buildings, artifacts,
cream and scarlet (coral and foraminifera), and open and chalky texture statues), aggregates,
silica (chert and flint) manufacture of quick-lime,
cement, mortar, soil and
water conditioner, petroleum
reservoir, flux in blast furnace,
medicine, cosmetics,
toothpaste, paper, plastics,


paint, and tiles. Significant
collector rocks for water, oil
and gas.

Dolostone Gray, white, buff Predominantly dolomite Chemogenic sediments, Source of magnesium metal
(dolomite rock) and brown color (calciumemagnesium soft, fine to coarse and magnesia (MgO),
(Fig. 5.64) carbonate)  silica grained with sugary refractory bricks, aggregate
and greasy texture for cement and bitumen
mixes, flux in blast furnaces of
iron and steel industry,
important host rock for
zinceleadesilver deposits.
Conglomerate Various colors Clasts of preexisting Predominantly coarse Dimension stone for
(Fig. 5.22) depending on rocks and minerals (pebbles, cobbles and decoration of walls,
preexisting source within fine-grained boulders) in fine aggregate, fill in the
material matrix cementing material construction and road
industries and significant
source for placer diamond,
gold, and uranium.
Laterite (Fig. 5.41) Brick-red Rich in iron and Featureless massive Regular-sized blocks as
aluminum residual product of building and road
weathering construction, aquifer for
water supply in rural areas,
waste water treatment plant
and source of low-grade

aluminum, iron and nickel.

TABLE 1.2 Lists of Common Rocks and Diagnostic Features under Overall Classification (cont'd)

Name Color Composition Texture Major Uses


Slate Blue-black shade Clay or volcanic ash, Fine-grained, Building materials, roof-
product of low-grade regional homogeneous and shingles, tiles, gravestone,
metamorphism foliated electric insulator, fireproof,
switchboard, laboratory
bench and billiard table top
and blackboards.
Phyllite Gray, shades of brown, Quartz, sericite, mica Phyllitic texture with silky Decorative objects such as
red, blue, green and chlorite glossy appearance pendants and beads.
Schist (Figs 6.2, 6.3 Silvery gray, brown, Micas, chlorite, talc, Medium-grade Dimension and decorative
and 6.10) green quartz, feldspar, garnet, metamorphic rock with stone as building material,
kyanite, staurolite well-developed schistocity walls, garden, road industries
and paving.


Gneiss (Figs 6.1, 6.8, Variegated of black and High-grade regional High-grade metamorphic Building material, roads and
6.11, 6.13 and 6.14) white, light brown metamorphic process of rock showing gneissose curbs.
existing igneous/sedimentary texture, medium to
rocks coarse foliated
Amphibolite Dark colored, green, Hornblende, actinolite, Weakly foliated or Attractive textures, dark
(Figs 6.5 and 6.6) gray, brown plagioclase  quartz schistose structure color, hardness and polishing
ability suits as dimensional
stone in construction, paving
and facing of buildings.

Serpentinite Dark to light green Serpentine group, e.g. Hydrated and regional Decorative and curving stone
antigorite, chrysolite metamorphic in architecture and sculptures.
and lizardite  chromite transformation of Rich in elements toxic to
ultramafic rocks plants such as chromium and
Quartzite Gray, off-white, Monomineralic and Massive, extremely hard, Extreme hardness and
(Figs 6.15 and 6.16) yellow, light brown, dominantly of quartz nonfoliated metamorphic angular shape is suitable for
red rock railway ballast, roads, walls,
roofing/flooring, stair steps,
high-purity ferrosilicon,
industrial silica sand and
silicon carbide.
Marble (Fig. 6.17) White, pink, and green Monomineralic and Nonfoliated metamorphic Sculpture, ancient and
dominantly of calcite equivalent of limestone present-day monuments,
statues, dimensional and
decorative stone, construction
material, tiles, and flooring.
FURTHER READING the foundation study material to understand
the definition of minerals, rocks and ore, funda-
Reading of text books authored Dana,9 mentals to start any branch of Geology. Tisljar49
Vrkljan,60 Vrkljan et al.61 will be a smart will be helpful in reading for Croatian readers.
approach to step into the theme of Mineralogy The fundamental concepts of mineralogy and
and Petrology. Haldar23 and Haldar24 can be petrology are explained by Cornelis Klein.27

Basic Mineralogy

2.1. Introduction 39 2.5. Overview of the Main Rock

Forming Minerals 51
2.2. Internal Structure of Crystals and
2.5.1. Autochthonous Elements 52
Their Properties 40
2.5.2. Sulfides 52
2.2.1. Crystallized and Amorphous
2.5.3. Oxides and Hydroxides 53
Solid Minerals 40
2.5.4. Carbonates 55
2.2.2. Formation of Minerals 41
2.5.5. Halides 57
2.2.3. Crystal Lattice 42
2.5.6. Sulfates 57
2.2.4. Crystallographic Axes, the Crystal
2.5.7. Phosphates 58
Planes and Elements
2.5.8. Silicates 58
of Crystal Symmetry 43 Nesosilicates [SiO4]4 59
2.2.5. Crystal Systems, Crystal Forms, Sorosilicatesd[Si2O7]6 61
Single Crystals and Crystal Cyclosilicatesd
Twinning 45
[SinO3n]2n 62
2.3. Chemical and Physical Properties of Inosilicates 63
Minerals 47 Phyllosilicatesd
2.3.1. Chemical Properties of Minerals 47 [Si2nO5n]2n 68
2.3.2. Physical Properties of Minerals 47 Tectosilicates 73
2.4. Polymorphism and Isomorphism 50 Further Reading 79

1. Crystallography studies crystal forms, i.e.
Mineralogy is the systematic study that deals forms in which the minerals crystallize, as
with the characteristics of minerals. The miner- well as their internal structure, relations and
alogy has more scientific branches such as the distribution of atoms, ions or ionic groups in
following: the crystal lattice.

Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology 39 Copyright Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

2. Physical mineralogy is the study of physical (Fig. 1.14 and Fig. 2.5) or garnet (Fig. 1.16 and
properties of minerals, such as cohesion Fig. 2.9).
(hardness, cleavage, elasticity, and density; Crystallized minerals have specific and con-
refer Table 1.1), optical, thermal and magnetic stant physical properties. Same minerals always
properties, electrical conductivity, and have a constant melting point or crystallization
radioactivity, and so on. point. If we increase the temperature of crystal-
3. Chemical mineralogy is the study of chemical lized mineral, when it reaches melting point, it
formula (Table 1.1) and chemical properties of will stop to heat as long as the mineral does
the minerals. not convert to mineral melt. It is because that
4. Environmental mineralogy studies complex all the heat energy is spent on the decomposition
and very different conditions of the origin of of the crystal lattice, or melting of minerals. It is
minerals, understand element behavior in called melting point or crystallization point in
echo-systems, natural and industrial effects of reverse process.
minerals, and mitigates potential Melting point or crystallization point is al-
contamination problems. ways constant for a mineral in same pressure.
5. Descriptive mineralogy deals with the Physical properties of crystallized minerals
classification of minerals into groups based on are always exactly equal in a particular direction:
their common properties, mostly chemical for example, all minerals which are not part of
and structural properties. the cubic system are double refracting, where or-
dinary light passing through them is broken up
into two plane polarized rays that travel at
2.2. INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF different velocities and refracted at different an-
CRYSTALS AND THEIR gles. They are anisotropic. Minerals which are
PROPERTIES part of the cubic system and amorphous
solid are isotropic which means that light
2.2.1. Crystallized and Amorphous behaves the same way no matter which direction
it is traveling in the crystal. The isotropy
Solid Minerals
and anisotropy of crystallized minerals will
The constancy of chemical composition and be discussed in more detail in Sections 2.2.3
physical properties of minerals are the outcome and 2.3.2.
of their internal crystal structure. The exact and Amorphous minerals from Greek amor-
unique arrangement of atoms, ions or ionic phous “shapeless” (from a “without” þ morphe
groups is the characteristic feature of each crys- “form”) in which there is no long-range order
tallized mineral. The minerals are mostly found of the positions of the atoms and in fact are not
as crystallized substance and less frequently as minerals, but mineraloids. Therefore, never as-
amorphous solid in Earth’s crust (Fig. 3.2). sume a regular polyhedral shape. Mineraloids
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid mate- possess chemical compositions that vary beyond
rial, whose constituent atoms, molecules, or the generally accepted ranges for specific min-
ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern erals. Mineraloids unlike the crystallized min-
extending in all three spatial dimensions. During erals do not have a specific melting point and
crystallization, where there was enough space crystallization point. With the gradual increase
for their uninterrupted growth in all directions, in temperature of mineraloids, for example,
the crystals can have a regular polyhedral shape. glass, gradually becoming softer and softer until
That is, for example, often the case with minerals it finally softens enough to become liquid.
halite (Fig. 1.9), quartz (Fig. 1.11), calcite All mineraloids are optically isotropic. Agate is
2. Crystallization from gases and vapors,
“pneumatolysis” processes, such as
3. Crystallization from the hot solution,
“hydrothermal” processes, such as fluorite
and galena (Section 4.1).
4. Crystallization and deposition of
minerals from aqueous solutions,
“hydatogenesis” processes, such as secretion
of aragonite and calcite from seawater
5. “Vaporization” of highly concentrated
aqueous solutions due to the strong
evaporation, evaporation processes, such as
gypsum, anhydrite and halite (Section 5.8.1).
6. “Dynamic metamorphism” is associated with
FIGURE 2.1 Agate-noduledconcentric secretion of light
and dark zones of amorphous silicon hydroxide from edges zones of high to moderate strain such as fault
toward center. Agate is a variety of chalcedony formed from zones. Cataclasis, crushing and grinding of
layers of quartz showing multicolor bands. Most agates rocks into angular fragments, occurs in
occur as rounded nodules or veins in volcanic rocks or dynamic metamorphic zones, giving
ancient lavas.
cataclastic texture (Section 6.5).
7. “Contact metamorphism” occurs typically
considered a “Mineraloids” because of its lack of
around intrusive igneous rocks as a result of
crystallization (Fig. 2.1).
the temperature increase caused by the
Mineraloids are not so common in the Earth’s
intrusion of magma into cooler country rock.
crust as crystallized minerals and usually occur
The area surrounding the intrusion (called
during spending of minerals on Earth surface
aureoles) where the contact metamorphism
or secretion from lava. A good example of a min-
effects are present is called the metamorphic
eraloid is opal, semiprecious stone. It usually oc-
aureole. Contact metamorphic rocks are
curs by excretion of minerals substances from the
usually known as hornfels. Rocks formed by
edge to the center of fissures of almost any kind
contact metamorphism may not present signs
of rock, being most commonly found with basalt,
of strong deformation and are often fine
rhyolite, limonite, sandstone and marl. It is basi-
grained (Section 6.4).
cally hydrated silica with variable amounts
8. The action of aqueous solutions and the
(1e21%) of water (Section 2.5.3).
atmospheric conditions on solid minerals can
create “authigenic” minerals. Chemical wear
2.2.2. Formation of Minerals can create new minerals under the influence
of water and CO2 occurs mild carbon acid
Minerals, as integral part of the rocks, are
[H]þ þ [HCO3] under whose effects of
forming in different ways by complex processes
spending feldspars can create kaolinite
such as the following:
1. Crystallization of magma (silicate 9. Life processes of organisms, or “biochemical”
composition), “pyrogenesis” processes, processes, are biogenic minerals such as
such as olivine, pyroxenes and plagioclase secretion of calcite or aragonite for building
(Section 4.1.2). shells or coral skeletons (Section

Pyrogenesis is the process of mineral/rock for- a0 a0 a0

mation derived by solidification of intrusive or One-dimensional pattern
extrusive magma/molten lava/and its derivatives
emplaced by volcanism.
Pneumatolysis is the alteration of rock or min-
eral crystallization affected by gaseous emana-
b0 b0
tions from solidifying magma.
Hydrothermal process/synthesis is crystallizing
a0 a0 a0
single crystal/substances from high-temperature
aqueous solution at equilibrium vapor pressure. Two-dimensional pattern

2.2.3. Crystal Lattice

The mineral as a homogeneous body is
defined with a regular arrangement of atoms,
ions or ionic groups in the crystal lattice. This
means that all the same crystallized minerals
have same formations of ions. Specifically, in
all the three dimensions, every mineral has the
same pattern of a set of atoms arranged in partic-
ular way according to their type. This can be
thought of as forming identical tiny boxes, called
unit cells that fill the space of the lattice. Such
unique arrangement of atoms or molecules is
called crystal lattice (Fig. 1.10 and Fig. 2.2). This
is the homogeneity of the crystals.
Lattice constants can be determined using X-ray
diffraction or with an atomic microscope. The
structure of each mineral species, i.e. their proper
internal structure is determined by using X-rays.
Three-dimensional grid or lattice of each mineral
was determined by regulardperiodicdsorting of Three-dimensional pattern
ions (or ionic groups) in one direction and at equal
FIGURE 2.2 Three-dimensional arrangement of atoms of
distances, forming a so-called long-range order the crystal supported by one-dimensional and two-dimen-
(Fig. 2.2). Two dimensional planar network results sional patters.
by repeating the pattern periodically in two
different directions and similarly three dimen- unit cell halite, which crystallizes in the cubic sys-
sional forms of lattice is obtained by repeating in tem (Fig. 1.10), has the same intervals in all the
three different directions (Fig. 2.2). The basic unit three directions (a0 ¼ b0 ¼ c0 and amounts to
of the crystal lattice of the unit cell in the crystal 4.12  1010 m), and right angles (a ¼ b ¼ g ¼ 90 ).
periodically repeated in three directions, two of By the lattice constant of crystallized minerals
which lie in the same plane. The unit cell has is defined a constant chemical composition
defined edges a0, b0 and c0 and angles a, b and g and chemical formula of mineral. Lattice con-
between them, respectively. For example, the stant also determines the other very important
properties of crystallized minerals homogeneity crystal (Fig. 2.4). Crystal planes in relation to
isotropy, anisotropy and symmetry. the crystallographic axes are placed so that
Homogeneity of minerals is reflected by the at some distance from the center of the crystal
fact that in parallel direction of crystal lattice, intersect one or more axes. Distance to the crys-
atoms have same interval, and in the different di- tallographic axes are called parameters and
rections, they do not. they exactly determine the position of each plane.
Isotropy is uniformity in all directions. The Crystal planes are a reflection of proper inter-
term is made up from the Greek words iso (equal) nal structure of crystals and are part of the
and tropos (direction). Isotropy means that phys- network plane, therefore, are not random phe-
ical properties of mineral are identical in all crys- nomena in crystals. Each plane in the crystal oc-
tallographic directions. These are isotropic cupies a specific position in relation to a
minerals which belong only to minerals of cubic particular crystallographic axis: it cuts it or is
system and mineraloids. Only minerals which parallel with it (Fig. 2.3). Each crystal plane can
crystallize in the cubic system in the crystal lattice be described parametric relationship. For a plane
have in all three directions equivalent arrange- that intersects all three crystallographic axes in
ment of atoms, (Fig. 1.10) such as Na and Cl in their unit distances parametric relationship is
a halite lattice (distance of 4.12  1010 m). (1a:1b:1c) to a surface that is parallel to the crys-
Anisotropy is the property of being direction- tallographic axes and c (N a:1b:N C).
ally dependent. The term is made up from the These parameters are knows as Weiss parame-
Greek words aniso (without) and tropos (direc- ters. Today in the mineralogy, however, to indi-
tion). Anisotropy means that physical properties cate the position of the crystal surface is in use
of mineral are not identical in all crystallographic Miller indices. Miller indices were introduced in
directions. For example, a0, b0, and c0 have 1839 by the British mineralogist William Hallowes
different values. Anisotropy has all the minerals Miller. Specifically, Miller indices are much easier
that crystallize in the tetragonal, orthorhombic, for writing and marking on the surface of a crystal
hexagonal, rhombohedral, monoclinic and that has a large number of surfaces.
triclinic system (Section 2.2.5). 1. Planes with Weiss parameter (1a:1b:1c) has a
Each arrangement of atoms has a certain num- Miller indices (111).
ber of elements of symmetry, i.e. changes in the 2. Planes with Weiss parameter (1a:1b:N C) has
orientation of the arrangement of atoms seem a Miller indices (110).
to leave the atoms unmoved. One such element 3. Planes with Weiss parameter (N a:1b:N C)
of symmetry is rotation; other elements are has a Miller indices (010).
translation, reflection, and inversion. The ele-
ments of symmetry present in a particular crys- By convention, negative integers are written
talline solid determine its shape and affect its with a bar, as in 3 for 3, for example, if the axis is
physical properties (Section 5.2.4). cut on the negative arm of the Miller Index is ð111Þ.
In crystals are available seven planes of
different positions with respect to crystallo-
2.2.4. Crystallographic Axes, the graphic axes, which can show the seven different
Crystal Planes and Elements types of Miller index. By its position according to
of Crystal Symmetry the crystallographic axes to be surface bipyr-
All planes in the crystal can be placed in the amid, prism and pinacoid (Fig. 2.3):
imaginary coordinate system of crystallographic 1. Bipyramid, (111) intersects all three axes.
axes, which is known as a common point. These are 2. First-order prism, (011) plane parallel to the
imaginary lines that intersect at the center of the axis of “a”.

Surface of Surface of
first-order c first-order Surface of
prism prism base
(011) (011) pinacoid
Surface of Surface of
b side side
a pinacoid pinacoid
(010) (010)

Surface of
Surface of

FIGURE 2.3 Location of the crystal planes and their Miller indices in relation to the crystallographic axes a, b, and c.

3. Second-order prism, (101) plane parallel to the

combination (Fig. 1.11, Figs 2.5, 2.11, 2.13,
axis “b”.
2.18(A) and (B)). Figure 1.11 shows the crystal
4. Third-order prism, (110) plane parallel to the
combination in which the quartz crystals occur.
axis “c”.
A combination of six-sided prisms, and
5. Front pinacoid, (100) plane intersects a front
four different types of bipyramid crystal
axis “a”.
combinations are among the minerals much
6. Side pinacoid, (010), plane intersect side
more widespread than the simple forms. And
axis “b”.
they have lot more planes than simple forms
7. Base or basal pinacoid, (001) plane intersects
(Fig. 1.11; Figs 2.11, 2.13 and 2.18(B)).
the vertical axis or base axis “c”.
Crystals are symmetry bodies that have one
Crystals can occur in simple forms or in com- or more planes of symmetry, one or more axes
binations of different forms. If crystal has devel- of symmetry and a center of symmetry. There
oped, for example, in six same planes, pinacoid are crystals that have not got a single plane of
of the same side shape and symmetry. They symmetry or any of the axes of symmetry, or
will form in cubic system a geometric body are without center of symmetry. The plane of
shape of cube which is called in crystallography, symmetry divides crystal on two mirrors same
regular hexahedron (Fig. 1.10). Such crystal is a parts (mirror plane). Axis of symmetry is the di-
simple form. If, however, the crystal is composed rection in a crystal around which crystals can
of various planes, two or more different simple turn and repeat two, three, four or six times
shapes will be obtained. Such crystal is a crystal within 360 .
A3 C C

–a2 –a1 –a2 –a1 –a2 –a1

a1 a2 a1 a2 a1 a2

1 2 3

–a3 –c –c


–b β
–a –a
–b –a –b β
b b
a a γ b
β > 90º
β > 90º
α > 90º
4 5 6
γ ≠ 90º
–c –c –c

FIGURE 2.4 The relationship between the position of the crystallographic axes: 1, cubic; 2, tetragonal; 3, hexagonal and
trigonal; 4, orthorhombic; 5, monoclinic; 6, triclinic.

In a complete 360 rotation, the grain will gridsdhexagonal and trigonal, but the same
repeat itself in appearance two times, once every common pointdhexagonal (Fig. 2.4). All known
180 , it is called twofold rotational symmetry; crystals have only 32 possible combinations of
three times, once every 120 , it is called threefold planes of symmetry, which due to the mutual re-
rotational symmetry; four times, once every 90 , lations of crystallographic axis, their lengths and
it is called fourfold rotational symmetry; and six angles between them can be grouped into six or
times, once every 60 , it is called sixfold rota- seven lattice point groups (Fig. 2.4).
tional symmetry. Cubic crystal lattices have three mutually
perpendicular crystallographic axes of equal
2.2.5. Crystal Systems, Crystal Forms, length (axis a1:a2:a3) from which the first hori-
zontal axis (front axis) is directed toward the
Single Crystals and Crystal Twinning
observer, the second horizontal axis extending
Based on the size of the crystallographic axes, from left to right (lateral axis) and the third
there are different six or seven lattice point axis is vertical (vertical axis). Contains five crys-
groups. In fact, there are two different tal classes.

Tetragonal results from stretching a cubic lat- symmetry) has crystals that crystallized in the
tice along one of its lattice vectors, so that the cubic system, for example, crystals having the
cube becomes a rectangular prism with a square shape of a cube or hexahedron (see halite
base (a by a) and height (c, which is different Fig. 1.10). Of the 32 crystal classes, those as
from a). Contains seven crystal classes. many planes as required for complete symmetry
Hexagonal has four crystallographic axes of in a given crystal system are called holohedral.
which three were of equal length and they are The crystal form is a set of uniform surfaces,
in horizontal plane (axes a1:a2:a3), each at angle which as a whole has certain symmetry. For
120 . Fourth (c axis or vertical axis) is longer or example, six planes of square form, each of
shorter than the rest of three and perpendicular which intersects only one axis (100), (010),
to them. This system contains 12 crystal classes. (001), make a crystal form that geometrically cor-
Orthorhombic results from stretching a cubic responds to the cube, and in crystallography
lattice along two of its orthogonal pairs by two called hexahedra (hex ¼ six and hédra ¼ flat).
different factors, resulting in a rectangular prism Eight planes in shape of equilateral triangle,
with a rectangular base (a by b) and height (c), which each plane cuts across all three axes
such that a, b, and c are distinct. All three bases (111), form octahedron (octa ¼ eight), and the
intersect at 90 angles. The three lattice vectors 12 surface in shape of rhombus forms rhombic
remain mutually orthogonal. Contains three dodecahedron (Fig. 2.9).
crystal classes.
1. If surfaces are deployed to close some space
Monoclinic crystal system is described by three
or geometric body, as is the case in a
vectors. In the monoclinic system, the crystal is
hexahedron, octahedron or orthorhombic
described by vectors of unequal length, as in
dodecahedron, then they are closed forms.
the orthorhombic system. They form a rectan-
2. If the surface does not obstruct the space, such
gular prism with a parallelogram as its base.
as prism surfaces that intersect two axes and
Hence two pairs of vectors are perpendicular,
with third are parallel (011), (110) or (101),
while the third pair makes an angle other than
then they are open forms.
90 . Contains three crystal classes.
3. Prism is an open form, and may have a
Triclinic crystal system is described by the
different number of planes.
three basis vectors. In the triclinic system, the
4. Pyramid is an open form. Pyramid has a
crystal is described by vectors of unequal length,
different number of planes and is usually
as in the orthorhombic system. In addition, all
combined with another symmetric side of
three vectors are not mutually orthogonal
the pyramid, creating a so-closed formd
(a s b s c and a s b s g). Contains three crystal
bipyramid, or is combined with a prism,
as for example the case of quartz
The triclinic lattice is the least symmetric. It
(Fig. 1.11).
has (itself) the minimum symmetry all lattices
have: points of inversion at each lattice point Separate crystals can be completely free
and at seven more points for each lattice point: (Fig. 2.9) or they grow on some base (Fig. 2.5).
at the midpoints of the edges and the faces, When two separate crystals share some of the
and at the center points. It is the only lattice same crystal lattice points in a symmetrical
type that itself has no mirror planes although manner, the result is an intergrowth of two sepa-
they are characterized by proper internal rate crystals in a variety of specific configura-
structure. tions. A twin boundary or composition surface
Combination of the largest number of symme- separates the two crystals. It is called crystal twin-
try elements (9 planes of symmetry, 13 axis of ning (Fig. 2.18(B), (C), (D) and (E)).
2. Crystalline water or adsorption water in the
form of H2O molecules.
Crystal water have certain points in the crys-
tal lattice (for example, gypsum CaSO4$2H2O).
By heating, a portion of such water is lost
(¼ process of dehydration), but the crystal lattice
is not destroyed and may again receive such wa-
ter (¼ hydration).
Adsorption water has not got strict location in
the crystal lattice. In some clay minerals can cause
plasticity or swelling which can make landslides.
In minerals with a layered grid, for example,
smectite, it is the interlayer water located between
the layers. In zeolite group of minerals, the water
is in holes and channel grids, and it is called zeolite
water. By heating those kind of minerals, they lose
water, but their lattice will not break apart, but
the unit cell is reduced. By receiving that water
again their unit cell is increased, for example,
montmorillonite will increase in size by 2.5 times
FIGURE 2.5 Crystal of calcite composed of planes that compared to the dry mineral.
form the rhombohedral shape.
Content of constitutional, crystal and adsorp-
tion water is expressed in chemical formula of
2.3. CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL mineral, for example, kaolinite Al2Si2O5 (OH)4
Minerals can also contain hygroscopic water
2.3.1. Chemical Properties of Minerals and mechanically incorporated into the water.
Minerals have a defined chemical composition Hygroscopic water is actually the humidity
which can be determined by various methods of that is located on the surface of minerals or
analytical chemistry and determine their chemical which fills cracks and gaps in it, so that it is
formula. The results of quantitative chemical anal- not related to the crystal lattice. It can be
ysis of minerals, usually expressed in two ways: removed by heating to 110  C.
Mechanically blended water is located in the
1. Ratio of chemical elements (for example, minerals in the form of inclusion, drops of water
quartz, 46.73% silicon and 53.27% oxygen). embedded in mineral during its growth in fluid
2. Ratio of oxides (for example, forsterite 57.11% environments (fluid inclusions).
MgO and 42.89% SiO2 or fayalite 70.57% FeO
and 29.43% and SiO2).
2.3.2. Physical Properties of Minerals
Minerals may include water as the following:
Classifying minerals can range from simple to
1. Constitutional water in form of hydroxide ions
very difficult. A mineral can be identified by
(OH) which are an integral part of the crystal
several physical properties such as:
lattice and have a steady position in the grid.
By the loss of water, crystal will fall apart and 1. category (oxide, sulfide, silicate, carbonate,
the water cannot get back into the grid. etc.);

FIGURE 2.6 Crystal lattice of polymorphic modifications in carbon minerals: (A) diamonds; (B) graphite.

2. crystal system (cubic, tetragonal, hexagonal, hardness still has the mineral that can rip
etc.); another, i.e. a softer mineral. The relative hard-
3. cohesion properties (hardness in Mohs scale ness of minerals is determined by using and
1e10, cleavage, tenacity, and fracture); comparing Mohs' scale of hardness, which in-
4. density/specific gravity; cludes 10 lined-up minerals from softest to the
5. macroscopic optical properties (color, hardest mineral (Table 2.1).
brightness, luster, and streak); and
6. microscopic optical properties (refractive
index, birefringencea, and pleochroism).
TABLE 2.1 Mohs’ Scale of Mineral Hardness
The minerals can be analyzed for chemical
composition and broadly grouped under oxide, Mineral Hardness
sulfide, silicate, etc.
Talc 1
Crystal system/family represents an identical
mathematical and geometrical three-dimensional Gypsum 2
space for a group of minerals. Calcite 3
Hardness of minerals can be seen in the
Fluorite 4
resistance of minerals to the encroachment of
a solid object in its surface and interior. Hard- Apatite 5
ness of minerals is dependent on the structure, Orthoclase feldspar 6
i.e. the distribution and density of packing of
Quartz 7
atoms, ions and ionic groups in the crystal lat-
tice, as it can be seen in structure of graphite Topaz 8
and diamond (Fig. 2.6). The mineralogy defines Corundum 9
and determines the hardness of minerals and
Diamond 10
applied as relative hardness. Higher relative
For example, corundum (9) is twice as hard as 3. Dust of mineral is put inside the pycnometer and
topaz (8), but diamond (10) is almost four times check the temperature which must be þ4  C.
as hard as corundum. 4. Measure the weight of pycnometer with
Cleavage is the tendency of minerals to split mineral dust and water (v).
along crystallographic planes as a result of struc- 5. Calculate density (g) of mineral with formula:
tural locations of atoms and ions in the crystal,
Density ¼ (Weight in air)/(Weight in air 
creating planes of relative weakness. Mineral
Weight in water)
graphite, for example, has an excellent cleavage
with basal pinacoid plane (0001) because its
structure consists of planes of carbon atoms ar- mðgrÞ

ranged in parallel with the basic pinacoid. p þ m  vðgrÞ
Diamond which crystallizes cubic and has signif-
icantly denser packing of carbon atoms has no Color indicates the appearance of the mineral
cleavage (Fig. 2.6). Cleavage is an important in reflected light or transmitted light for translu-
property for determination of minerals even cent minerals.
when the minerals are found as irregular grains Color of petrogenic silicate minerals are usu-
(Fig. 2.12). ally derived from isomorphic mixed Fe ions.
Minerals with a large difference in cohesion in The minerals with a small proportion of isomor-
different directions have great cleavage (e.g. phic admixtures of iron are bright green, while
micas, calcite, gypsum, feldspar, pyroxenes, those with more isomorphic admixtures are
and amphiboles), and minerals with small differ- dark green and black color (Section
ence in cohesion have poor or no cleavage (e.g. The color of minerals is decisive for colors of
quartz, apatite, and olivine). rocks. The proportion of mineral aggregate is
Mineral density is defined as mass of unit vol- accountable for different interrelated rock color.
ume, i.e. the mass of 1 cm3 expressed in grams The colorless or white petrogenic or leucocratic
(g/cm3) and at a certain temperature and pres- minerals give rise to white to light gray color
sure is constant for all the minerals of the same rocks (such as most granite). The dark green
mineral species. As a unit of measure is usually and black or melanocratic minerals give rise to
taken the density of water at þ4  C which is rocks of dark gray, dark green or black color
1 g/cm3 so for mineral is used relative density (e.g. gabbro and peridotite).
which indicate how much is mineral denser Idiochromatic minerals have constant character-
than water at þ4  C, for example, the relative istic color and that characteristic color does not
density of quartz is 2.65. The most common pet- change even with small amount of various addi-
rogenic minerals (minerals that are the main con- tives or impurities, as for instance the case of
stituents of rocks) have a density between 2.0 golden-yellow pyrite, green malachite or blue
and 4.5 g/cm3. The densities of minerals are azurite.
easily determined by pycnometer, small glass Allochromatic minerals, that occurs most
vials and a thermometer following the steps frequently, show colors of their impurities,
given below: such as quartz, which otherwise should be clear,
colorless and often translucent like glass. It can
1. The pycnometer is filled with water of þ4  C, be milky white, purple, yellow or black when it
seals and measures the weight of pycnometer contains impurities.
with water (p). Shine of minerals depends on the ability of
2. Measure the weight of mineral crushed to refraction, i.e. the size of refraction. Minerals
dust (m). that are characterized by excellent cleavage and

smooth cleavage planes (e.g. micas) and min- birefringence show only white, gray and black
erals that are characterized by high index of interference colors.
refraction (e.g. sphalerite, galena and diamond)
have high glossy shine.
Optical properties of minerals, perceived with 2.4. POLYMORPHISM AND
polarization microscope, are the most significant ISOMORPHISM
characteristics for identification of minerals, both
in mineralogy and petrology. This is specifically Although the crystal structure of each min-
significant if the rocks are composed mostly of eral is constant and characteristic, it is a com-
fine grains or microcrystalline mineral aggre- mon phenomenon that chemically the same
gates and the mineral ingredients are mixed substance is found in two or more crystalline
together. The identification of the mineral forms. It crystallizes in two or more crystal
composition is not easy with the naked eye or systems with small or very large differences
a magnifying glass, but can only be possible in crystallographic and physical properties.
through a microscope. This phenomenon is called polymorphism
Polarizing microscope is used to examine the (from the Greek. “Poly” ¼ “more” and
optical properties of minerals, determines the “morph” ¼ “form”).
type and quantity of certain mineral compo- The good examples of polymorphs are
nents in the rock as well as structural and ge- graphite and diamond (Fig. 2.6). The chemical
netic features of rocks in the linearly polarized composition of both the minerals consists of the
light that passes through the mineral or rock. same elemental carbon with the formula of
The optical properties of minerals are the result “C”. While diamond is the hardest mineral
of propagation and behavior of light as an elec- (Mohs hardness of 10), translucent, high glossy
tromagnetic wave in the mineral. The propaga- shine, density 3.52 g/cm3, an excellent electrical
tion of light in a mineral depends on the insulator, and known as the precious gem,
structure of minerals, i.e. about its internal graphite is very soft (Mohs hardness of 1), black
structure. Therefore, it is unique for every and completely opaque, density 2.1 g/cm3 and a
mineral. good conductor of electricity. Diamond crystal-
Isotropic minerals have the same properties in lizes in cubic form, usually in the form of an oc-
all directions. This means that light passes tahedron and graphite crystallizes in hexagonal
through the minerals in the same way, no matter structure. These differences are caused by a
in what direction the light is traveling. very different way of stacking carbon atoms in
Anisotropic minerals have different proper- the crystal lattice. The carbon atoms of diamond
ties, i.e. light travels through them in different have very dense and compact arrangement,
ways and with different velocities, depending while graphite atoms are not. The most common
on the direction of travel through a grain. examples of polymorphs in nature are given in
Anisotropic minerals cause polarized light to Table 2.2.
be split into two rays as it travels through a Isomorphism (from the Greek. “Izos” ¼ “same”
grain. The rays may not travel at the same ve- and “morph” ¼ “form”) is a phenomenon that
locity or follow exactly the same path. Birefrin- represents the minerals of different, but analo-
gence is a value that describes the difference in gous chemical composition in the same crystal
velocity of the two rays. When the rays emerge system and shapes. The minerals can blend in
from the grain, they combine to produce crystalline state, and form isomorphic com-
interference colors. The colors repeat as the pounds or mixed crystals. One of the basic condi-
birefringence increases. Minerals with low tions for this is that the cations are replaced in the
TABLE 2.2 Examples of Polymorphic Minerals that are Most Often Seen as Essential Ingredients of Rock

Mineral Crystal System Relative Density Properties

a and b quartz SiO2 Hexagonal (two different 2.65 Stable to 870  C

a and b tridymite SiO2 Rhombic and hexagonal (two 2.32 Stable from 870 to 1470  C
different classes)
a and b cristobalite SiO2 Tetragonal and cubic 2.32 Stable above 1470  C
Calcite Ca[CO3] Trigonal 2.72 Stable modification

Aragonite Ca[CO3] Rhombic 2.94 Unstable modification

Silimanite AlSiO5 Rhombic (different unit cells) 3.25 Two modifications stable at
lower, and silimanite at higher
Andalusite AlSiO5 3.10 temperatures
Kianite AlSiO5 Triclinic 3.56

crystal lattice, for example, Mg2þ can be example, olivine mixture of 80% forsterite and
substituted with Fe2þ, Ca2þ with Mg2þ. Simi- 20% fayalite (Table 2.12). The numerous exam-
larly, Si4þ can be replaced with Al3þ at simulta- ples of isomorphic mixtures, with olivine, are
neous installation of one cation (Kþ or Naþ). certainly most important isomorphic mixture
Two Si4þ ions can be replaced with two Al3þ of plagioclase.
ions with installation of Ca2þ to fulfill difference
in valence (Section
There are many examples of mixed crystals,
especially among petrogenic silicate minerals. 2.5. OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN
A simple example of isomorphism and forma- ROCK FORMING MINERALS
tion of mixed crystals is olivine (Mg,Fe)2SiO4.
The olivine is essentially a mixture of isomor- Mineralogy today accounts for more than
phous minerals, forsterite (Mg2SiO4) and faya- 4000 different minerals, but only small numbers
lite (Fe2SiO4). It is evident from the formula of are essential ingredients in the composition of
olivine, forsterite and fayalite that Fe2þ and rocks. The scientific researches indicate that the
Mg2þ ions mix and form mixed crystal in which crust materials are representing by primarily
exact ratio of Fe2þ and Mg2þ cannot be deter- feldspars, quartz, pyroxenes, amphibole and
mined. Therefore, the chemical composition of olivine, as shown in Table 2.3.
such compounds cannot be accurately The classification of minerals is based on their
expressed by the formula or the stoichiometric chemical composition and structure. Certain
ratio, but ratio must always be 2 (Mg þ Fe):1- number of chemical elements in nature is found
Si:4O. The crystal formula of mixed crystals in elemental form. Those elements which are in
are written as cations and isomorphic replaced crystallized state constitute a special group of
elements are separated by commas and placed minerals or elements. The majority of minerals
in parentheses, for example, olivine (Mg,Fe)2- are in the form of chemical compounds: oxides,
SiO4. However, the contribution of different hydroxides, sulfides, sulfates, chlorides, fluo-
end-members that make up the crystal half- rides, carbonates, phosphates and silicates in
breed, we indicate their proportion, for particular (Table 2.4).

TABLE 2.3 Percents of Main Rock Forming Minerals Graphite (C) is a stable hexagonal polymorphic
modification of carbon with a layered lattice
Minerals %
(Fig. 2.6(B)). Graphite is a layered compound
Minerals from feldspars group 57.9 and in each layer, the carbon atoms are arranged
Pyroxenes, amphiboles and 16.4 in a hexagonal lattice. It is soft, black in color and
olivine leaves a black mark on fingers. It can be found in
pegmatites and granites, and particularly in the
Quartz 12.6
crystalline schists, and it is an essential ingredient
Fe oxides (magnetite and 3.7 of graphite schist (Table 6.1). It is an important
raw material due to high electrical conductivity.
Mica 3.3 Diamond (C) is a stable cubic polymorphic
Calcite 5.0 modification of carbon in the form of octahedra
(Fig. 2.6(A)). The properties include hardness of
Clay minerals 1.0
10, relative density of 3.52, transparent, colorless,
All other minerals 3.6 with impurities can be white, gray, yellowish,
bluish and rarely black. The impure varieties of
diamond are used as abrasive due to the extreme
TABLE 2.4 The Most Important Group of Minerals by hardness and cutting material, making the
Their Chemistries crown for rock drilling. The clean and pure vari-
eties are treated as a high-value gemstone. The
Elements Graphite, diamond, gold and sulfur
diamonds crystallizes as the primary ingredient
Sulfides Pyrite, marcasite, and pyrrhotite in the olivine-rich ultramafic rock kimberlite,
Oxides and Quartz, opal, chalcedony, corundum, and it can be usually found in sandegravel river
hydroxides gibbsite, boehmite, diaspore, magnetite, deposits due to the exceptional resistance to
hematite, goethite, chromite, limenite, physical and chemical weathering.
rutile, pyrolusite, psilomelane, and spinel Gold (Au) is found as autochthonous cubic
Carbonates Aragonite, calcite, magnesite, siderite, mineral in hydrothermal ore veins or strings,
and dolomite and as resistant mineral in the debris. Color is
Halogenides Halite, silvite, and carnallite golden yellow, metallic shine, the relative den-
sity of 15.5e19.3.
Sulfates Gypsum, anhydrite, and barite
Sulfur (S) is often found in nature as autoch-
Phosphates Apatite and phosphorite thonous mineral that crystallizes in the ortho-
Silicates Nesosilicates rhombic system. The most common form of
Sorosilicates occurrences is aggregates of granular, fibrous or
Cyclosilicates kidney-shaped structure. Sulfur often forms
Inosilicates around volcanic craters and on the outbreaks of
sulfur and water vapor around the volcanoes
and hot springs. It can also occur through organic
processes of bacteria that reduce sulfate. It is an
important raw material in chemical industry.
2.5.1. Autochthonous Elements
The minerals that can be found in crystallized
2.5.2. Sulfides
state as autochthonous elements are graphite,
diamond, gold and sulfur. They are the most Sulfides are compounds of transition metals
economic and important members. with sulfur. Sulfides are very frequent and
widely distributed as ore and petrogenic min- TABLE 2.5 Overview of Main Rock Forming Minerals
erals with most significant are pyrite, marcasite from the Group of Oxides and Hydroxides
and pyrrhotite. Oxides Hydroxides
Pyrite (FeS2) is a widespread mineral in many
rocks (Figs 1.26 and 1.32) and belongs to the Silicon Quartz SiO2
Chalcedony ¼ fibrous
most widespread sulfide minerals in the litho-
sphere. Pyrite crystallizes in the cubic system,
and has a brass-yellow color. It is found as Aluminum Corundum Al2O3 Gibbsite g-Al(OH)3
Boehmite g-AlOOH
rock-forming mineral in regular cubic grains,
Diaspore a-AlOOH
clusters of fine-grained aggregates. Pyrite can
turn into limonite and hematite by processes of Iron Hematite Fe2O3 Goethite a-FeOOH
Magnetite FeO$Fe2O3 Limonite
oxidation (Section It occurs from crystal-
lization of magma, from hydrothermal solutions, Iron and Chromite FeO$Cr2O3
sediments in reducing conditions and metamor- chrome
phic processes. Iron and Limenite FeO$TiO2
Marcasite (FeS2) is an orthorhombic modifica- titanium
tion of the substance FeS2 and is generally asso- Titanium Rutile TiO2
ciated with sedimentary rocks in the form of
Manganate Pyrolusite MnO2 Psilomelane
spherical aggregates. Marcasite crystallizes at
low temperatures from solutions containing
ferrous sulfate, and is never found as a primary Magnesium Spinel MgO$Al2O3
mineral in igneous rocks.
Pyrrhotite (FeS) (Fig. 1.27) is usually found in
basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks in the form
of dense aggregates. Pyrrhotite is often mag-
netic, has metal shine, opaque, and brownish Ice (H2O) is the solid phase of water at a tem-
bronze in color. The mineral frequently contains perature of 0  C and crystallizes as a hexagonal
a small amount of nickel in basic and ultrabasic mineral with density of 0.9175 g/cm3, and floats
rocks. Pyrrhotite is an important component of on water. The snowflakes are formed by subli-
some nickel bearing meteorites. mation (from water vapor and not from water)
and crystallizes in the hexagonal crystal in the
form of six-sided stars.
2.5.3. Oxides and Hydroxides
Quartz (SiO2) (Figs 1.11 and 8.1) is the most
An oxide is a chemical compound containing common polymorphic modifications of silicon
at least one oxygen atom as well as at least one dioxide in rocks. The crystalline silicon dioxide
other element. The oxides result when elements occurs in several polymorphic alpha modifica-
are oxidized by oxygen in air. Hydroxides tions in rocks: tridymite and cristobalite, each
are compounds in which the anion OHe with another unstable beta-modification. The
groups contain OHe ion as the OOHe different crystallized SiO2 occurs in as many as
group. Some minerals from the group of 12 polymorphic modifications depending on
oxide and hydroxide minerals, particularly, temperature. Transformation of one modifica-
silica, iron and aluminum, are very important tion into another is an extremely slow process.
and widespread mineral components of rocks. Sometimes higher temperature and lower tem-
The most abundant among the group are listed perature polymorphic modification can be both
in Table 2.5. stable during a certain time. Quartz crystallizes

in the hexagonal system and is often found in na- laminae is known as onyx. Dense and opaque
ture in crystal form as shown in Fig. 1.11. Quartz types of chalcedony with admixtures of iron
is very common and abundantly present in the brownish red color are called Jasper and used
sediments of silicon rocks, acidic intrusive and for making jewelry.
vein rocks, as well as most metamorphic rocks Corundum (Al2O3) is a crystalline form of
(mylonite, quartzite, phyllite, mica, and green aluminum oxide and have traces of iron, tita-
schists, gneiss and granulite). nium and chromium. It is a rock-forming min-
Opal (SiO2$nH2O) is a mineraloid (amorphous eral, and clear transparent natural material. It
mineral) of irregular shapes and white in color. can have different colors in the presence of impu-
The color changes to yellow, gray, brown or rities. The transparent red color varieties are
red in the presence of impurities. A special known as ruby and are used as high-value
type of opal becomes precious, which is charac- gems. Corundum with all other colors is called
terized by awesome flows of bluish gray and sapphire. It can scratch almost every other min-
white colors. Opal is excreted from hot springs eral due to extreme hardness (pure corundum
and geysers. In sedimentary rocks, particularly has harness of 9 in Mohs hardness scale). It is
limestone, opal is formed by carbonate and commonly used as an abrasive, on everything
excreted from solutions containing silicon. Opal from sandpaper to large machines, machining
may occur as secondary mineral during the metals, plastics and wood. Corundum occurs
weathering process of primary silicate minerals, as a mineral in mica schist, gneiss, and some
basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks. The skeletons marbles in metamorphic terranes. It also occurs
of algae, diatoms, silicon sponges and radiolar- in low-silica igneous syenite and nepheline sye-
ians are consisting of opal, and with their depo- nite intrusives. Other occurrences are as masses
sition and diagenesis occurring siliceous adjacent to ultramafic intrusives, associated
sedimentary rocks. with lamprophyre dikes and as large crystals in
Chalcedony is a fibrous type of cryptocrystal- pegmatites.
line quartz, which forms very dense kidney- Gibbsite (Al(OH)3) is an aluminum hydroxide,
shape clusters. It is composed of thin parallelly sometimes known as hydrargillite and crystal-
and linearly arranged aggregates of fibrous crys- lizes in monoclinic system. It is rarely found in
tals that usually show X-ray structural features a pure state and often blended with boehmite,
of b-quartz. It has waxy and glossy appearance, kaolinite, hematite and limonite in bauxites and
and can be white, gray, pink, yellowish, dark laterites, i.e. sedimentary rocks that serve as the
brown to black color. The yellowish and red co- ore to obtain aluminum (Section 5.5.6).
lor chalcedony is considered as semiprecious Boehmite g-AlO(OH) or Böehmite is an
stones. Chalcedony is a frequent ingredient in aluminum oxide hydroxide mineral and alumo-
silicon sediment, i.e. chert (Table 5.7) and radio- gel is an amorphous gel Al(OH)3. It occurs
larite (Section 5.9.1). Chalcedony usually occurs with gibbsite as main mineral constituents of
by extraction from aqueous solutions containing bauxite and laterite (Section 5.5.6).
silicon acid and from opal in processes of recrys- Hematite (Fe2O3) (Fig. 1.25) and magnetite
tallization. It occurs in the form of irregular (FeO$Fe2O3) are very common, but usually mi-
masses, concretions, lenses and nodules in lime- nor constituents of many rocks. However,
stone as filling voids in the rock appears in the magmatic and hydrothermal processes may
basic volcanic or extrusive rocks. form large deposits of these minerals suitable
Agate is a variety of chalcedony with modified for iron ore mining.
thin lamina or layers of different colors (Fig. 2.1). Goethite (FeO(OH)) is the iron hydroxide,
Agate with the changes of black and white formed as amorphous clusters and known as
limonite (brown iron ores formed due to wearing igneous rocks as secondary mineral (Section
of iron minerals). Limonite includes amorphous
Fe-hydroxides with variable amounts of water. Pyrolusite (MnO2) is manganese oxide and
Limonite is often found in many rocks that crystallizes in tetragonal system. It is usually
give the brown, yellow or tan color. It usually de- located in strip and needle aggregates with
velops as a product of chemical weathering of dark gray to black in color. It is formed by hydro-
many minerals containing Fe2þ, or ferrous iron. thermal and sedimentary origin. The pyrolusite
In the oxidation process oxidizes in the trivalent is very widespread and the main ore of
iron Fe3þ, which is known as a process of limoni- manganese.
tization. Limonitization processes are well visible Psilomelane (MnO$MnO2$nH2O) is a colloidal
in yellow-brown color in freshly broken-off modification of manganese oxide with water. It
greenish-gray rocks along and around cracks. occurs as kidney-like clusters. It is often found
The brown, yellow or reddish-brown color of in the form of thin crusts, coatings, and dendrites
clays and many other rocks is derived from limo- in layer surfaces or crevices of different rocks,
nite. Finely dispersed limonite in the rock is a especially limestone. The mineral colors are
natural pigment that causes a yellow-brown co- iron-black or blue-black and the rocks which
lor of rocks. Dense clusters of limonite are contain psilomelane are dark gray or black. Psi-
known as limonite ocher and pigment. Limonite lomelane is originated from aqueous solutions
above the hematite and siderite deposits often enriched with manganese as a product of the
forms a crust of weathering and is known as surface weathering of various minerals contain-
the “iron hat”. Limonite and goethite are ing manganese.
important as a source of low-grade iron and Spinel (MgO$Al2O3) is a member of isomor-
nickel ore. phic mixtures of different Al3þ, Fe3þ and Cr3þ
Chromite (FeO$Cr2O4) (Fig. 1.23), is an iron spinel. The mineral is a typical product of contact
chromium oxide, and ilmenite (FeO$TiO2) is a metamorphism. It is formed from clay sediments
titaniumeiron oxide minerals. These minerals in contact with the magma, and is located in
are important ores of chromium and titanium, skarns and hornfels (Table 6.1).
and are often the ingredients of rock in minor
quantities. Chromite and ilmenite crystallize at
high temperatures of intrusive magma in the
2.5.4. Carbonates
initial stage of crystallization, and present as Carbonates are salts of carbonic acid, charac-
the regular ingredients of ultrabasic and ultra- terized by the presence of the carbonate ion,
mafic rocks (Section CO23 . The minerals from the group of carbon-
Rutile (TiO2) crystallizes in tetragonal system ates form isomorphic series of CaeMgeFee
and is commonly found in the form of rod or MneZn trigonal carbonate and CaeSreBaePb
needle crystals. The color varies between dark rhombic carbonate (calcite and aragonite group).
red and black. It occurs usually in regional meta- The carbonates also include the dolomite group
morphism, and associates with crystalline schists (Table 2.6).
(gneiss, mica schists, phyllites and amphibolites, The most important petrogenic minerals from
Table 6.1). It is a common mineral in clastic sed- carbonate group are calcium, magnesium and
iments and sedimentary rocks (sand/sand- iron carbonates or aragonite, calcite and dolomite,
stones), with high resistance to weathering. less frequent siderite and very rare magnesite.
Rutile is often occurring in the river and offshore Aragonite (CaCO3) is a carbonate mineral, one
deposits along with the gold concentrate in sig- of the two common, naturally occurring crystal
nificant quantities. Rutile is common in acid forms of calcium carbonate (the other form is

TABLE 2.6 Minerals of Calcite and Aragonite Groups and and Section 6.5.2). The various
types of occurrences are the following:
Calcite Group Aragonite Group
Low-magnesium calcite is very common in
Calcite CaCO3 Aragonite CaCO3 biogenic origin. It builds skeletons of planktonic
Magnesite MgCO3 Strontianite SrCO3 organisms and regularly as a very stable mineral
Siderite FeCO3 Witherite BaCO3
in limestone preserves during all diagenetic
Rhodochrosite MnCO3 Cerussite PbCO3
Smithsonite ZnCO3 changes.
High-magnesium calcite, together with the
DOLOMITE GROUP metastable aragonite, is an essential ingredient
of the carbonate mineral deposits of shallow ma-
Dolomite CaMg(CO3)2
rine limestone. The transformation into calcite is
usually not found in limestone due to low stabil-
ity. High-magnesium calcite is most commonly
the mineral calcite.) It is formed by biological found in many recent carbonate skeletons, espe-
and physical processes, including precipitation cially coralline algae, calcareous sponges, bryo-
from marine and freshwater environments. It is zoans and serpulite, as in many cement and
essential, and with high-magnesium calcite, ooids (Section It is often found in some
practically the only carbonate mineral compo- freshwater sediment and their cements, such as
nent of shallow marine limestone deposits of travertine limestone.
warm and tropical seas. Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) (Fig. 5.64) with calcite
Calcite (CaCO3) (Fig. 1.14) forms isomorphic is the most common mineral in carbonate rocks.
series with magnesite (Table 2.6) and can contain The mineral dolomite crystallizes in the trigo-
up to 28 mol% MgCO3 and there are also low- nalerhombohedral system. It develops white,
magnesium calcite (<4 mol% MgCO3) and gray to pink, commonly curved crystals, usually
high-magnesium calcite (4e28 mol% MgCO3). in the massive forms. It has physical properties
In the lattice of calcite, Ca2þ can be replaced similar to those of the mineral calcite. Small
with Fe2þ, Mn2þ and Zn2þ, thus resulting mag- amounts of iron in the structure give the crystals
nesium carbonate (MnCO3) and zinc carbonate a yellow to brown tint. Unlike calcite, Mg calcite,
(ZnCO3) (Table 2.6). Petrogenic significance aragonite and dolomite are not formed by
have only calcite and magnesium calcite and in biochemical processes or by direct precipitation
some limestone, especially in the form of cement from seawater, but they are generally secondary
or iron calcite (calcite, in which part of the Ca2þ mineral formed by process of dolomitization.
isomorphic is replaced by Fe2þ). Replacement of Ca2þ ions with Mg2þ ions with
Calcite crystallizes in the trigonal crystal sys- suppression of calcite and aragonite in the lime-
tem, excretes in the deeper and/or colder sea stone sludges or in the already-tough limestone
and freshwater. It often occurs with contact with dolomite (Section
and regional metamorphism of limestone and Siderite (FeCO3) is relatively poorly repre-
shale. Large crystal grains are distinctly visible sented petrogenic minerals, but occasionally
from, the color and transparency like quartz. It can be accumulated in large quantities to consti-
is very significant and extensive petrogenic min- tute a reservoir of iron ore. The crystals belong to
eral or the main mineral component of lime- the hexagonal system, and are rhombohedral in
stone, marl and marble. It is also an important shape, typically with curved and striated faces.
ingredient, especially as cement, to virtually all The color ranges between yellow and dark
clastic sedimentary rocks (Sections, brown or black.
Magnesite (MgCO3) usually occurs in the form 2.5.6. Sulfates
of dense or granular masses, such as porcelain
white. The mineral possesses hardness of four Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The
and relative density of three. Smaller amounts minerals gypsum and anhydrite, and rarely ba-
of magnesia can occur by deposition from ryte, kieserite and polyhalite from the group of
seawater, and in larger quantities that have eco- sulfate have petrogenic importance and occur
nomic importance (magnesite ore deposits), as the main ingredients of evaporites sediments.
mainly caused by the effect of Gypsum (CaSO4$2H2O) (Fig. 1.17) crystallizes
in monoclinic system and is usually located in
1. hot Mg bicarbonate solution to limestone to dense aggregates of fine or coarse granulated
form calcite and dolomite in the first stage and transparent aggregates called alabaster. It is very
followed by magnesite; soft (hardness 2), white in color or monochrome,
2. hot solutions containing CO2 to ultramafic and from the admixture of organic matter and
igneous rocks rich in olivine from which the clay may be gray or brown gray. The mineral loses
serpentine group of minerals occur (Section 75% water at a temperature of 120e130  C and be- and magnesite. comes so-called burnt gypsum. This feature is
Magnesite is the raw material for production widely applied in construction. Gypsum is a
of refractory matter and special types of cement much abundant mineral that can independently
(sorel cement). form a rock, because it is secreted in large masses
of seawater in evaporation conditions. It can also
be secreted from pore water in the desert. Gypsum
2.5.5. Halides is an essential ingredient of evaporite sediments
Halides are the salts of sodium fluoride and (Section 5.8.1). It occurs as secondary mineral in
hydrochloric acid. The minerals halite, sylvite many rocks by the oxidation of iron sulfide.
and carnallite from this group only contain chlo- Anhydrite (CaSO4) is an anhydrous calcium
ride and have petrogenic significance. sulfate. It is in the orthorhombic crystal system,
Halite (NaCl) is the mineral form of sodium with three directions of perfect cleavages parallel
chloride, and commonly known as rock salt. to the three planes of symmetry. Anhydrite crys-
Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is tallizes from seawater with its strong evapora-
typically colorless or white, but may also be light tion, and in large quantities is the evaporite
blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow sediment, usually in association with early dia-
or gray depending on the amount and type of genetical dolomites (Section 5.8.1).
impurities (Fig. 1.9). It is an essential mineral Baryte, or barite (BaSO4), crystallizes ortho-
component of evaporite sediments (deposits of rhombic system, commonly found in tabular crys-
rock salt, see Section 5.8.1). tals or granulated, fibrous and radial clusters of
Sylvite (KCl) unlike halite, has a bitter taste white or bluish-white color. It has a high relative
that makes these two minerals distinct. Sylvanite density (from 4.3 to 4.7) and excellent cleavage of
occurs with halite as essential mineral ingredient plane basal pinacoid (001). It can be found,
of evaporite sediments (salt deposits). almost always, together with sulfide ores formed
Carnallite (KMgCl3$6(H2O)) crystallizes ortho- in hydrothermal processes, and also forms in
rhombic, has no cleavage, and is colorless or crystallization from seawater in reductive terms.
white to pale reddish. Carnallite occurs together Baryte is widely used in paper-making, paint,
with halite and sylvite and is the essential min- insulation material for protection against radia-
eral ingredient evaporite sediments and salt tion and in addition to drilling mud to increase
deposits. their density.

2.5.7. Phosphates Si4+

Phosphates are salts of phosphoric acid
(H3PO4). The minerals from the apatite group
only have petrogenic significance.
Apatite (Ca5 (F, Cl, OH) (PO4)3) is a group of
phosphate minerals, usually referring to hy- (SiO4)4–
droxyapatite, fluorapatite, chlorapatite and bro-
mapatite, named for high concentrations of FIGURE 2.7 The basic structural unit of silicate mineralsd
OH, F, Cl or Br ions, respectively, in the SiO4 tetrahedron.

crystal. Apatite is the main representative of

isomorphic minerals of the apatite group that
crystallizes in hexagonal system. The fluorapa- minerals are formed by crystallization of magma
tite, a part of F isomorphic replaced with Cl at high temperatures, and in metamorphic pro-
and OHe group, is mostly located in the rocks. cesses at high temperature and high pressure.
These are mostly minor minerals, elongated pris- Silicate minerals are classified according to
matic or needle-shaped, glassy shine, brown, the structure with main feature of strong rela-
red, green and emerald green color. Apatite is a tionship between major oxygen ions, and minor
common mineral, and often a secondary mineral silicon ions. Four oxygen ions are arranged in
ingredient in almost all igneous rocks, especially close form of the tetrahedron with a small silicon
in pegmatite and mafic igneous rocks forming as ion in the center (Fig. 2.7). Therefore, the basic
veins. The primary use of apatite is in the manu- structural unit of silicate minerals is SiO4 tetra-
facture of fertilizer and a source of phosphorus. hedra. The distance between the centers of two
It is occasionally used as a gemstone. ions of oxygen is always 2.6  108 cm (2.6 Å).
Phosphorite, the amorphous colloid and cryp- The distance between the center of silicon ions
tocrystalline variety of Ca phosphate, is mostly and each of the relatively large oxygen ions is
of sedimentary origin. Most of it is from the orga- only 1.6  108 cm (1.6 Å), as shown in Fig. 2.7.
nogenic origin because phosphorus is derived Silicate minerals are put together by binding
from the bones, feces and other organic remains siliconeoxygen tetrahedra to each other and to
of animals. Phosphorite occurs in effect of other ions in a fairly small number of ways.
ammonium phosphate from bones or excrement Even this number represents only variations on
on calcium carbonate (limestone). About 90% of the theme of combining ionic and covalent bonds.
phosphate rock production is used for fertilizer The ionic bonding of tetrahedra involves
and animal feed supplements and the balance another atom, a cation which usually carries a
for industrial chemicals. þ2 charge. This ion is situated between the cor-
ners of two tetrahedra where it can receive one
electron from the nearest oxygen in each.
2.5.8. Silicates The covalent bonding of tetrahedra involves
Silicates are the most common and most actually sharing one oxygen atom between two
important petrogenic minerals, particularly feld- adjacent tetrahedra. One of the extra electrons
spars, amphiboles, pyroxenes, olivine, micas and of the shared oxygen is used by one silicon,
clay minerals, as indicated in Table 2.3. Their and the other electron is used by the other.
main characteristics are difficult to melt and Between these two extreme cases, there are a
often have very complex chemical composition number of different cases of bonding two,
because of isomorphic replacement. Most silicate three, four, six or more of the SiO4 tetrahedra,
so that there are seven different major struc- mineral serpentine (olivine serpentinization),
tural types of silicate minerals. These are the talc or actinolite. Olivine is the important min-
following: eral constituent of basic igneous rocks (gabbro,
norite, basalt) and ultramafic rocks, as well as
1. Nesosilicates (lone tetrahedron)d[SiO4]4
some crystalline schists formed in the deep
2. Sorosilicates (double tetrahedra)d[Si2O7]6
rock layers. Olivine is extensively present in
3. Cyclosilicates (rings)d[SinO3n]2n
4. Inosilicates (single chain)d[SinO3n]2n
Garnets (Fig. 1.16) consist of the free SiO4 tetra-
5. Phyllosilicates (sheets)d[Si2nO5n]2n
hedra interconnected by ions of various divalent
6. Tectosilicates (3D framework)d
and trivalent metals. Garnets have a complex
composition due to the high possibility of isomor-
phic substitution of these ions. The end members Nesosilicates [SiO4]4 are known as series: pyropeealmandineespessarite
In the structure of nesosilicates, SiO4 tetra- and uvaroviteegrossulareandradite. The general
hedra are not directly connected with mutual ox- chemical formula is as follows:
ygen ion, only by interstitial cations. The
simplest structure in nesosilicates have mineral M2þ 3 M3þ 2 Si3 O12
forsterite Mg2[SiO4]. The most important min-
where; M2þ ¼ Ca; Mg; Fe or Mn
erals from the nesosilicates are shown in Table
2.7 and Fig. 2.8. M3þ ¼ Al; Fe or Cr:
Olivine with little iron is closer to forsterite
with greenish color. The same with more iron Members of each of the two series of crystals
is closer to fayalite with dark green color. Olivine form a cross-breed with each other, and the
crystallizes in orthorhombic system and hard- isomorphic replacement between the two series
ness of 7e6.5 (depending on the isomorphous are limited. In divalent cations, there is unlimited
replacement of Mg with Fe). It forms by crystal- possibility of isomorphic substitution of Mg2þ
lization of magma at high temperatures (pyro- with Fe2þ and Mn2þ with Fe2þ. Isomorphic
gen minerals). In normal atmospheric replacement of Mg2þ with Mn2þ is limited, and
conditions, it has low resistance to weathering Mg2þ, Mn2þ and Fe2þ may still be up to about
and easily subjected to metamorphism in the 20% replaced with Ca2þ. In all garnets part of
the Si can be isomorphic replaced with Ti. There
are almost no pure members in nature, and
TABLE 2.7 The Most Important Petrogenic Minerals garnet gets its name by the main components
from Nesosilicates Group dominate (Table 2.7). Garnet crystallizes in cubic
Olivines Group Al2SiO5 Group
system (Fig. 1.16), and is commonly found in iso-
metric form, i.e. the regular crystallographic
ForsteritedMg2SiO4 AndalusitedAl2SiO5 forms, mostly orthorhombic dodecahedron,
FayalitedFe2SiO4 KyanitedAl2SiO5
and their combination (Fig. 2.9 and Fig. 6.6). Gar-
nets do not have cleavage, and have hardness of
Garnet Group Zircon Group
PyropedMg3Al2(SiO4)3 ZircondZrSiO4
6.5e7, and the color depends on their chemical
AlmandinedFe3Al2(SiO4)3 TitanitedCaTiSiO52 composition.
SpessartinedMn3Al2(SiO4)3 Garnets may originate in different ways. It
GrossulardCa3Al2(SiO4)3 may form by crystallization of magma in the
AndraditedCa3Fe2(SiO4)3 pegmatite and acidic intrusive rocks (granites
and granodiorites). However, the common

FIGURE 2.8 Representation of free and in separate groups linked SiO4 tetrahedra in the structures of (A) nesosilicates, (B)
sorosilicates, and (C) cyclosilicates.

FIGURE 2.9 Crystal forms of garnet: (A) rhombic dodecahedron; (B) deltoid icosahedron.
occurrences are by regional, contact and plutonic igneous and metamorphic rocks, and is a regular
metamorphism, and are essential ingredients of ingredient in clastic sediments.
a high-degree metamorphic schist (gneiss and Titanite (CaTiSiO5) crystallizes in monoclinic
mica schist), skarn, hornfels and eclogite (Table system. It is found as individual crystal. Cleav-
6.1). Garnets are resistant to weathering and age is clear at (110), hardness is 5.0e5.5, and rela-
regularly found as minor components in the tive density of 3.5. It often occurs as secondary or
clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks (sand- accessory mineral in neutral and acidic magma-
stones). Garnets are used as abrasive material. tites (alkali syenite and pegmatites, Table 4.1),
Kyanite, Andalusite and Sillimanite (Al2SiO5) some crystalline schists, and gneisses in partic-
are polymorphic modifications of aluminum sil- ular. It is usually located associated with the
icates with the same formula (Table 2.7). Kyanite bauxite.
crystallizes in triclinic system. Andalusite and
sillimanite crystallize in orthorhombic system. Sorosilicatesd[Si2O7]6
Sillimanite has the structural features of inosili- Sorosilicates have isolated double tetrahedra
cates. The crystals are usually elongated. Kyanite groups with (Si2O7)6 or a ratio of 2:7. There
hardness is 4.5e5.0 parallel to one axis 6.5e7.0 are no significant petrogenic minerals among
perpendicular to that axis. The hardness of silli- sorosilicates, except epidote, zoisite and vesuvi-
manite and andalusite is 6e7. Kyanite is a min- anite (Fig. 2.8).
eral typical of regional metamorphosis under Epidote (Ca2Al2(Fe3þ;Al)(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH))
high pressure. Andalusite is a typical mineral is a calcium aluminum-silicate mineral, in which
for contact metamorphism and sillimanite repre- part of the aluminum is substituted with triva-
sents regional and contact metamorphism at lent iron. If the iron is replaced by only 10%,
high temperatures. All three minerals occur in then the aluminum is white and is known as cli-
the metamorphic environment from clay sedi- nozoisite. If it is replaced by 10e40% aluminum,
ments. These are common and essential mineral it is called pistacite which has a typical green co-
components of hornfels (Table 6.1). lor with yellow and dark-gray shades. Epidote
Staurolite crystallizes in orthorhombic system crystallizes in the monoclinic system. The crys-
and occurs mainly as twinned and cruciform pat- tals are prismatic, the direction of elongation be-
terns in metamorphic rocks. It has complex chem- ing perpendicular to the single plane of
ical formula of (Fe,Mg,Zn)3e4Al18Si8O48H2e4. symmetry. It occurs in the presence of water va-
The hardness is 7.0e7.5 in Mohs scale. Staurolite por at low and high temperatures (100e450  C)
is formed by regional metamorphism of rocks in hydrothermal conditions, and can occur, in
such as mica schists, slates, and gneisses, and dynamic and contact metamorphism (Section
generally associated with other minerals like 6.2). Epidote is a constituent of igneous rocks
kyanite, garnet, and tourmaline. that have undergone hydrothermal changes
Zircon (ZrSiO4) regularly contains a small and metamorphic rocks from the schist group.
amount of hafnium, thorium, yttrium, iron or Zoisite (Ca2Al3 (OH) Si3O12) is a calcium
uranium, and generally weakly radioactive. aluminum-silicate without iron. It crystallizes
Zircon crystallizes in tetragonal crystal system. in orthorhombic system. The most common
It has hardness of 7e8, incomplete cleavage, occurrence is in the form of fine-grained aggre-
and relative density of 4.7. It is highly resistant gates of light to blue-gray color, usually associ-
to weathering. The natural color varies between ated with epidote and albite, in hydrothermal
colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and metamorphism of basic plagioclase, in pegma-
green. It is a widespread mineral, but usually titic phase crystallization of magma, and
in very small quantities. It is a component of regional metamorphism of calcium-rich rocks.

Zoisite is an essential ingredient of green schist Tourmaline {(Na,Ca)(Al,Li,Mg)3(Al,Fe,Mn)6

and amphibolite eclogites (Table 6.1), a common (Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)4}.
constituent of secondary pegmatite.
Vesuvianite (Ca10Al4(Mg,Fe)2Si9O34(OH)4) is a In cyclosilicates, only six-member ring has
mineral of complex composition crystallizing in petrogenic important minerals.
the tetragonal system because of isomorphic im- The tourmaline group includes isomorphic se-
purities. It was first discovered in blocks or adja- ries of silicate minerals of highly variable and
cent to lavas on Mount Vesuvius, hence its name. complex composition that often contains B and
The color is usually green or brown but may be Al. However, the tourmaline bearing rocks
yellow, blue, or red. The hardness is 6.5, and spe- frequently contain Na and Li, a part of Mg and
cific gravity is 3.35e3.45. The mineral forms by Fe is isomorphic substitute of Mn and Ca. Tour-
contact metamorphism of clay limestone, dolo- maline crystallizes in trigonal system. The crys-
mite and marl (Section 6.2). It usually occurs in tals typically occur as long, slender to thick
conjunction with garnets in marble, and during prismatic and columnar structure (Fig. 2.18).
crystallization of magma. The mineral has great hardness between 7.0
and 7.5, and changing colors depending on the Cyclosilicatesd[SinO3n]2n chemical composition.
Cyclosilicates, or ring silicates, have linked Tourmaline (Fig. 1.18) is very abundant second-
tetrahedra with (SixO3x)2x or a ratio of 1:3. ary mineral, especially in acidic intrusives (gran-
These groups of minerals exist as three-member ites), pegmatites and rocks affected by
(Si3O9)6, four-member (Si4O12)8 and six- pneumatolytic processes. Tourmalines are typical
member (Si6O18)12 rings (Table 2.8) (Fig. 2.8): pneumatolytic minerals that crystallize in pneu-
matolytic phase of magma-rich gases and
1. Three-member ring
vapors (Section 2.2.2). The minerals are very resis-
Benitoite {BaTi(Si3O9)}
tant to the processes of physical and chemical
2. Four-member ring
weathering and regularly found in sand dunes,
Axinite {(Ca,Fe,Mn)3Al2(BO3)(Si4O12)(OH)}
or nearly all clastic sedimentary rocks.
3. Six-member ring
Beryl (Be3Al2Si6O18) hexagonal crystals may
Beryl/Emerald {Be3Al2(Si6O18)}
be very small or range to several meters in size.
Cordierite {(Mg,Fe)2Al3(Si5AlO18)}
Pure beryl is colorless, but often contains impu-
rities. The various common colors are green,
blue, yellow, red, and white. Beryl has great
TABLE 2.8 The Most Important Petrogenic
Cyclosilicates hardness between 7.5 and 8.0, and clear cleavage.
The precious beryls are known as aquamarine
6-Member Ring (blue), emerald (deep green), and morganite
Tourmaline group Beryl
(pink to red). Beryl forms by pneumatolytic stage
of crystallization of magma, and is located in
MgeAl: Be3Al2Si6O18 veins in granites, also in the crystalline schists,
Al5Mg3CaMg (OH,F)4 Si6O27B3 particularly gneisses and mica schists (Table 6.1).
Cordierite ((Mg,Fe)2Al4Si5O18) crystallizes in
orthorhombic system, and occurs as crystals
Al7Na2Mg (OH,F)4 Si6O27B3 Cordierite and granular aggregates of short form. If it con-
FeeAl: (Mg,Fe)2Al3(Al,Si)5O18 tains more iron than magnesium, then it is known
(Al,Fe)5FeCaFe (OH,F)4 Si6O27B3
as Fe-rich cordierite, and if it contains more
magnesium than iron, it is known as Mg-rich
cordierite. The hardness is 7, and specific gravity igneous and metamorphic rocks. They share a
2.6. The various colors are greenish-blue, lilac common structure of single chains of silica tetra-
blue, or dark blue. Cordierite occurs in contact hedra (Fig. 2.10). The group of minerals crystal-
or regional metamorphism of argillaceous rocks. lizes in the monoclinic and orthorhombic systems.
It is especially common in hornfels produced by Inosilicates with a single-chain SiO4 tetrahe-
contact metamorphism of pelitic rocks. Some- dron of the pyroxene group are very important
times, the share in paragneiss may be so large and widespread petrogenic minerals (Table
that it forms a special type known as cordierite 2.3). Pyroxenes constitute a related group of sili-
gneisses (Table 6.1). cate minerals with similar crystallographic,
physical and chemical properties. The most Inosilicates important of them are given in Table 2.9.
Inosilicates, or chain silicates, have interlock-
ing chains of silicate tetrahedra with either ORTHOPYROXENES Orthopyrox-
SiO3, 1:3 ratio, for single chains or Si4O11, 4:11 ra- enes have general formula (Mg,Fe,Ca)
tio, for double chains. (Mg,Fe,Al) (Si,Al)2O6. The natural compositions
are dominated by two major end-member com- SINGLE-CHAIN ponents: enstatite, Mg2Si2O6, and ferrosilite,
INOSILICATESdPYROXENE GROUP Fe2Si2O6. The most common rock is bronzite
The pyroxenes are important rock-forming that contains 10e30% ferrosilite components,
inosilicate minerals and often exist in many and hypersthenes containing 30e50% ferrosilite

FIGURE 2.10 Inosilicatesd(A) single chain pyroxenes; (B) double chain amphibole.

TABLE 2.9 The Most Important Petrogenic Minerals from Pyroxene Group

Petrogenic Important Pyroxenes

Orthopyroxenes Clinopyroxenes Alkaline Pyroxenes

Enstatite Pigeonite Jadeite

Mg2Si2O6 (Mg,Fe2þ,Ca)(Mg,Fe3þ)Si2O6 NaAlSi2O6
Bronzite Diopside Aegirine
(Mg,Fe)2SiO6 CaMgSi2O6 NaFeSi2O6
Hypersthene Hedenbergite AegirineeAugite ¼ isomorphic member
(Mg,Fe)2Si2O6 CaFeSi2O6 of aegirine and augite
Dialage ¼ rich in iron diopside turned into Spodumene
Aleaugite LiAlSi2O6
Augite Omphacite
Ca(Mg,Fe2þ,Al) (SiAl)2O6 (Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe2þ,Al)Si2O6
Fassaite ¼ augite with Al2O3 > Fe2O3

Wollastonite Ca3Si3O9

components (Table 2.9). These minerals are regularly have a very complex chemical
pyrogenic origin and regular mineral ingredients composition (Table 2.9). The most petrogenic
of basic and ultrabasic rocks (gabbro, norite, important minerals among the group are the
peridotite, and lercololite), and hypersthenes is following:
often found in trachyte and andesite (Table 4.1).
1. Diopside-hedenbergite series
Hypersthene may occur in metamorphic
2. Augite group
process of contact and regional metamorphism
3. Pyroxenes (aegirineeaugite and
as an ingredient of skarns and crystalline schist
(especially biotite gneiss pyroxene granulite
4. Pigeonite
(Table 6.1)).
Pyroxenes from the group of diopsidee CLINOPYROXENES Monoclinic hedenbergite have typical pyroxene short pillar
pyroxene or clinopyroxene are isomorphic crystals with an octagonal cross-sections perpen-
blends of several different end-members, and dicular to the c-axis (Figs 2.11 and 2.12). Their

FIGURE 2.11 Typical crystal forms of pyroxene. The diagnostic feature of any pyroxene is two sets of cleavages that
intersect at 89 or 91 . Pyroxene show mediocre cleavages that are hard to separate, unlike the feldspars or hornblende.

FIGURE 2.12 Typical pyroxene cleavage. The pyroxene (hornblende) always forms oblique cleavages and intersect (A) at
87 in case of octagonal crystals, and (B) between 120 and 124 for hexagonal crystals.

color depends on the amount of iron, magne- Augite rich in iron is called black augite. It is
sium and aluminum. The color of diopside is particularly common in neutral and basic volca-
pale green and hedenbergite of dark green. nic rocks (diabase, basalts and andesites). Tita-
Diopside may arise from the crystallization of nium augite (augite rich in titanium, because it
magma and are common ingredients of neutral, is part of the Si replaced by Ti) exists in dolerite,
basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks (Table 4.1). olivine basalt and alkali gabbro.
Diopside occurs in contact and regional meta- Jadeite (NaAlSi2O6) has hardness between 6.5
morphism and is often found in marble, hornfels, and 7.0 depending on the composition. The min-
green schists and schists of high degree of meta- eral is dense, with a specific gravity of about 3.4.
morphism, especially in the mica schists. The common colors of Jadeite ranges from white
Diallage is yellowish brown, greenish mineral in through pale apple green to deep jade green-
the diopsideehedenbergite series containing blue-green, pink, lavender, and a multitude of
pieces of magnetite or ilmenite. Diallage is a regular other rare colors. Jadeite is formed in metamor-
component of basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks phic rocks under high pressure and relatively
from the group of gabbro and lercolite (Table 4.1). low temperature.
Augite groups have lattice analogous to diop- Aegirine (NaFeSi2O6) occurs as dark green
side, but with the difference that are part of the monoclinic prismatic crystals. It has a glassy
SiO4 tetrahedra Si4þ is replaced by Al3þ ions. luster and perfect cleavage. The Mohs hardness
These minerals have a complex chemical compo- varies from 5 to 6 and the specific gravity is be-
sition, and involve a very wide range of isomor- tween 3.2 and 3.4. It is located only in igneous
phic replacement of Ca, Na, Mg, Fe2þ, Fe3þ, Ti rocks rich in alkalis, mainly syenite and trachyte,
and Al. Most of the augite is dark green to black and some alkali granites (Table 4.1). Aegirinee
color. Augite is widely abundant rock-forming augite (isomorphous mixtures of aegirine and
minerals in igneous and metamorphic rocks augite components) is characterized by a clear
(Tables 4.1 and 6.1). They are the typical ingredi- green color. It is a typical magmatic mineral
ents of gabbro, basalt and dolerite. and, in association of leucite forms an important

component of igneous rocks rich in alkalis, espe- been in contact with the magma, especially
cially leucite syenite and clinkstone (Table 4.1). wollastonite marble, skarns and kornites (Table
Spodumene (LiAlSi2O6), is consisting of 6.1). It is the raw material for refractory materials.
lithiumealuminum inosilicate. It is a source of
lithium. It occurs as colorless to yellowish, pur- DOUBLE-CHAIN INOSILICATEd
plish or lilac, yellowish-green or emerald-green AMPHIBOLE GROUP
hiddenite, prismatic crystals, often of great size. Amphibole is an important group of generally
It crystallizes in the pegmatite and the final dark-colored inosilicate minerals. It is composed
magma containing Li and is often secondary of double-chain SiO4 tetrahedra, linked at the
ingredient of pegmatite and alkali granite. vertices and generally containing ions of iron
Omphacite ((Ca, Na)(Mg,Fe2þ,Al)Si2O6) is a and/or magnesium in their structures. Amphi-
deep to pale green or nearly colorless variety of boles crystallize in monoclinic and orthorhombic
pyroxene. The compositions of omphacite are in- system (Fig. 2.13). In chemical composition, am-
termediate between calcium-rich augite and phiboles are similar to the pyroxenes. The differ-
sodium-rich jadeite. It crystallizes in the mono- ences from pyroxenes are that amphiboles
clinic system with prismatic, typically twinned contain essential hydroxyl (OH) or halogen (F,
forms. The hardness is between 5 and 6. It is a Cl) and the basic structure is a double chain of
major mineral component of eclogite, i.e. meta- tetrahedra. Amphiboles are the primary constit-
morphic rocks formed under conditions of high uent of amphibolites.
pressure and temperature (Table 6.1). It is a com- Amphiboles along with pyroxenes and feld-
mon ingredient in peridotites, in particular spars are the most abundant rock-forming min-
kimberlite (ultramafic igneous rocks formed at erals (Table 2.3).
high temperatures where there are diamondsd
Section 2.5.1 and Section ORTHORHOMBIC AMPHIBOLES
Wollastonite (Ca3Si3O9) is in chemical composi- Anthophyllites are isomorphic mixture of mag-
tion calcium silicate which in structure belongs to nesium anthophyllite (Mg7(OH)2Si8O22) and
inosilicates, and the chemistry is similar to cyclo- ferroanthophyllite (Fe7(OH)2Si8O22). Antho-
silicates. It is a typical contact-metamorphic min- phyllite is the product of metamorphism of
eral and therefore a regular ingredient of magnesium-rich rocks especially ultrabasic
changed clayey limestone rocks which have igneous rocks and impure dolomitic shales.

FIGURE 2.13 Typical prismatic crystals of amphiboles elongated direction of crystallographic axis c.
2.5. OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN ROCK FORMING MINERALS 67 MONOCLINIC AMPHIBOLES process of formation of actinolite in that way
Monoclinic amphiboles typically constitute com- is known by name uralite.
plex isomorphic compounds with a wide possi- 2. A low degree of regional metamorphosis
bility to replace a number of different ions, forming regular components of low degree of
resulting in a very complex chemical composi- metamorphic schist, especially green schist.
tion. Specifically, Ca2þ ion can be isomorphic 3. Contact metamorphism, and are found in
replacement with Naþ, Kþ and Fe2þ. Mg2þ ion calcite and dolomite marble (Table 6.1).
with Fe2þ, Al3þ and Ti4þ, and Si4þ ion with
Minerals actinoliteetremolite series are not
Al3þ. Table 2.10 lists the general formula for
stable, and can easily alter in the chlorites, trem-
some of the most important members of the
olite and talc on the Earth’s surface.
isomorphic series of monoclinic amphiboles
The group hornblende includes amphibole
(for groups tremolite, actinolite, hornblende
rich in trivalent iron and aluminum. A substan-
and alkali amphibole).
tial portion of Si4þ is replaced with Al3þ, which
The color of amphiboles depends on their
requires the entry of Naþ in the structure. Their
chemistry, particularly of iron. Tremolite,
chemical composition is very complex and can
Ca2(Mg)5(OH)2Si8O22, does not contain iron or
only show with general formulas of ferrohorn-
it has only a very small portion, usually white.
blende and magnesiohornblende. There are fer-
Actinolite, Ca2(Mg, Fe)5(OH)2Si8O22, in which
rohornblende (common hornblende) and
part of the magnesium is replaced with iron
magnesium (basaltic) hornblende with specific
and the color is green. Basaltic hornblende,
reference to composition of divalent and triva-
Ca2Na(Mg,Fe)4(Al,Fe)(OH)2(Si,Al)8O22, which
lent iron and magnesium. Hornblendes, unlike
contains many isomorphic mixed trivalent iron
most other amphiboles, are well-formed crystals
and aluminum is black in color.
with well-developed prism surfaces of the third
Tremolite and actinolite are calcium amphi-
and second positions (110, 101). In nature, there
boles forming a series of isomorphic mixed crys-
are only hornblendes in which the ratio of
tals. The minerals are in the form of long
Mg:Fe is always greater than 4:6.
prismatic, radial needle and fibrous aggregates
Ferrohornblende (common hornblende) is
and known as actinolite asbestos. It occurs at
richer in ferrous iron, which is isomorphic
relatively low temperatures in different ways:
replacement with Mg. Magnesiohornblende
1. Hydrothermal alteration of pyroxenes under does not contain Fe2þ, but Fe3þ which is isomor-
the influence of steam and hot solution. This phic is replaced with Al3þ (Table 2.10).

TABLE 2.10 The Most Important Petrogenic Minerals of Amphibole Group

Petrogenic Important Amphiboles

Orthorhombic Monoclinic Alkaline

Anthophyllite Tremolite Glaucophane

(Mg,Fe)7(OH)2Si8O22 Ca2(Mg)5(OH)2Si8O22 Na2Mg3Al2(OH)2Si8O22
Actinolite Riebeckite NaeFe amphibole with 15e30%
Ca2(Mg,Fe)5(OH)2Si8O22 Fe2O3
Ferrohornblende Arfvedsonite Na-amphibole with 5e10% Na2O
Ca2Fe2þ 3þ
4 (Al,Fe )(OH)2Si7AlO22

Hornblende is formed by crystallization of

magma, and the pneuma (aqueous solutions
and vapors that are released from magma and
lava). These minerals are found in almost all
intrusive, extrusive and vein igneous rocks,
and in particular diorite, granodiorites, andesite,
gabbro, diabase and pegmatite (Table 4.1). In
addition, hornblende occurs in regional and con-
tact metamorphism. The common rocks are am-
phibolites, amphibolite schist and amphibolite
gneiss and basic hornfels (metamorphites caused
by contact metamorphosis). Hornblende often
turns into clusters of chlorite, epidote, calcite
and quartz under the influence of hydrothermal
solution. Alkali amphiboles include monoclinic
amphiboles, that contain a considerable amount
of alkali elements (Na, K and Li), and only
three are important petrogenic Na minerals,
namely, glaucophane, riebeckite and arfvedson-
ite (Table 2.10).
Glaucophane (Na2Mg3Al2(OH)2Si8O22) is FIGURE 2.14 The structures of the phyllosilicates.
named from its typical blue color (in Greek,
“glaucophane” means “blue appearing”). Glau-
cophane occurs at high pressures and low tem- sheets. Three out of the four oxygens from each
peratures, and is an important mineral tetrahedron are shared with other tetrahedral
constituent of metamorphic rocks formed under as shown in Fig. 2.14.
conditions of low temperature and high pres- The most important petrogenic minerals among
sure, such as glaucophane schists and some phyllosilicates are group talcepyrophyllite, mica,
phyllites and mica schists (Table 6.1). chlorite, vermiculite, smectite and kaolinitee
Riebeckite (Na2 Fe2þ 3þ
3 , Fe2 (OH)2Si8O22) are serpentine (Table 2.11).
mainly found in igneous rocks that crystallize
from magma rich in sodium (alkali trachyte, sy- GROUP TALCePYROPHYLLITE
enite, rhyolite and granitedsee Table 4.1). Talcepyrophyllite group comprises small
Arfvedsonite (Na Na2 Fe2þ4, Fe3þ(OH)2Si8O22) sheets of soft white phyllosilicates which are
the gray-black monoclinic alkali amphibole greasy on touch. Talc and pyrophyllite cannot
occurring from magma rich in sodium. It usually make mixed crystals because of large differences
appears in very elongated prismatic fibrous or in ionic radii of magnesium and aluminum.
radial fibrous aggregates. It is a constituent of Talc (Mg3 (OH)2 Si4O10) crystallizes in mono-
alkali syenite, clinkstone and their pegmatite clinic and triclinic system. It most often occurs
(Table 4.1). as foliated to fibrous masses. It has a low hard-
ness of 1in Mohs scale, which means it, can be Phyllosilicatesd[Si2nO5n]2n scratched by a fingernail. The mineral is an
The basic structure of the phyllosilicates is essential ingredient of talc schists and chlorite
based on interconnected six-member rings of schists (Table 6.1). Talc is a metamorphic mineral
4 tetrahedra that extend outward in infinite resulting from the metamorphism of magnesium
TABLE 2.11 The Most Important Petrogenic Minerals from the Group Phyllosilicates

KaolineSerpentine Group

Kaolin Minerals Belongs to Clay Minerals Serpentine Minerals

Kaolinite Lizardite
Al2(OH)4Si2O5 Mg3(OH)4Si2O5

Dickite Chrysotile
Al2(OH)4Si2O5 Mg3(OH)4Si2O5
Nacrite Antigorite
Al2(OH)4Si2O5 (Mg,Fe)3(OH)4Si2O5
TalcePyrophyllite Group Vermiculite Group Belongs to Clay Minerals

Talc (Mg,Al,Fe2þ)3(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2$4H20
Chlorite Group Smectite Group Belongs to Clay Minerals
Includes hydrosilicates which make mixed crystals Includes dioctaedric aluminum mica series
of complex chemical composition whose general montmorilloniteebeidellite and iron mica nontronite
formula is:
M4e6 T4 O10(OH,O)8 Montmorilloniteebeidellite

M ¼ Al,Fe3þ,Fe2þ,Li,Mg,Mn2þ,Cr, Ni and Zn Nontronite ¼ Feesmectite

T ¼ Si,Al,Fe3þ,Be and B Na0.5Fe2(Al,Si)4(OH)2$nH2O

Muscovite Celadonite
KAl2(OH)2AlSi3O10 KFE3þ(Mg,Fe2þ)(OH)2Si4O10
Celadonite Paragonite
KFe3þ(Mg,Fe2þ)(OH)2Si4O10 NaAl2(OH)2AlSi3O10
Biotite Phologopite
K(Mg,Fe)3(OH)2AlSi3O10 KMg3(OH)2AlSi3O10
Illite Glauconite is the name of series with mixed layer rich in iron
K0.65Al2(OH)2Al0.65Si3.35O10 mica

minerals such as serpentine, pyroxene, amphi- and compact dense masses, and occasionally a
bole, olivine, in the presence of carbon dioxide fan aggregates of greenish, yellowish or light
and water. The main uses of talc are in the manu- bluish color. It is a frequent mineral ingredient
facture of powder, the production of soap and of crystalline schists that are rich in aluminum
paper, and as a refractory material. and some of bauxite. It occurs in regional meta-
Pyrophyllite (Al2(OH)2Si4O10) crystallizes in morphism, and by the action of acidic hydrother-
monoclinic system and occurs as crystalline folia mal solutions on the rocks rich in aluminum.
70 2. BASIC MINERALOGY THE MICA GROUP phyllite and mica in particularly paragonite

Micas have been one of the most widespread schist (Table 6.1).
mineral group in the lithosphere. The group Series biotite: biotite and phlogopite are the
contains minerals that are key ingredients of only important petrogenic minerals.
many igneous rocks (Table 4.1) and metamor- Biotite (K(Mg,Fe)3 (OH)2 AlSi3O10) is irone
phic rocks (Table 6.1). The primary minerals magnesium mica, dark brown to black color.
from the mica group, especially muscovite, are The black color is due to the variations of the
regular constituents of clastic sedimentary contents of Fe2þ which is isomorphic replace-
rocks, particularly sand and sandstone (Section ment with Mg2þ and Fe3þ, which is substituted Some types of crystalline schist (mica by Al3þ. The ratio of Mg/Fe in biotite in igneous
schists and phyllites) are composed almost rocks decreases from basic to acid, and biotite in
entirely of mica. In gneisses, micas are regular the volcanic rocks typically contain more Fe3þ
and very important ingredients (Table 6.1). All than Fe2þ. Iron-rich biotite is entirely black and
micas crystallize in monoclinic system and are known as lepidomelane. Biotite is generally
characterized by perfect cleavage into thin sli- found in the form of small sheets of perfect cleav-
ces, which often have a hexagonal outline. The age on (001), hardness of 2e3, and their relative
microcrystalline mica flakes are known under density is greater as the iron content gets higher
the name of sericite. (2.7e3.4). Biotite is general constituent of many
Muscovite (KAl2 (OH)2 AlSi3O10) also known igneous rocks, especially the pegmatite, granite,
as common mica whose name originates from tonalite, granodiorite, diorite and syenite (Table
Muscovy-glass, a name formerly used for the 4.1). Biotite is also forms part of crystalline schist
mineral because of its use as windows in Russia. from the group of mica-schist and gneiss. It is
It does not contain iron, so it is colorless mica, significantly less resistant to chemical weath-
and highly resistant to weathering. Muscovite ering of muscovite and therefore rarely found
is formed by crystallization of magma from the fresh in clastic sedimentary rocks. The color
hot gases, vapors (pneuma) and hot solution. rapidly changes from black to bronze-brown
Muscovite is the most common mica, found in during weathering and become vermiculite. Bio-
granites, pegmatites, gneisses, and schists, and tite changes into chlorites and in special condi-
as a contact metamorphic rock. tions to muscovite under the influence of
Celadon (KFe3þ(Mg, Fe2þ)(OH)2 Si4O10) is very hydrothermal effects.
small, only visible by electron microscopy crystal Phlogopite (KMg3 (OH)2 AlSi3O10) is the mag-
length of only a few micrometers, green to bluish nesium mica in composition and structure. It is
green color. It appears in volcanic, especially equivalent to biotite with no iron, and similar
altered rocks as filling veins, vesicles, and voids crystallographic properties as biotite. Phlogo-
of different origin, usually together with chlorite, pite is brownish red, dark brown, yellowish
calcite, and zeolites. It may also occur as a prod- brown, green and white in color. It is usually,
uct of changes of and olivine. It is very similar to with the OHe group and also contains some
glauconite with which it is often replaced, but fluoride. Phlogopite occurs from crystallization
glauconite is found in sedimentary rather than of gases and vapors, and contact metamor-
volcanic rocks. phism. Phlogopite is found in the pegmatite
Paragonite (NaAl2 (OH)2 AlSi3O10) also known and marbles.
as sodium mica, and is very similar to muscovite Clay minerals form illite series (named after
by appearance. It is typical mineral formed at the state Illinois, USA that originate a number
low and medium temperatures and a regular of samples analyzed as clay) belong to dioctahe-
and important component of crystalline schist, dral mica with lack of the layer cations. Part of K
is replaced with OHe group in lattice similar to mineral can be transformed, easily and quickly,
Muscovite. Therefore, the illite series is called as into smectite in surface weathering.
hydro-micas and illite hydro-muscovite. It often
forms mixed-layer minerals with disordered SMECTITE GROUP
illite or smectite layers. According to the current Smectite group includes dioctahedral
nomenclature, illite includes a series of complex aluminum micas of montmorilloniteebeidellite
mineral with general chemical formula: and nontronite series or Feesmectite belonging
{K0.65Al2(OH)2Al0.65Si3.35O10}. Clay minerals of to clay minerals. It has complex chemical compo-
illite series occur in different environments, and sition. The structure is made up of three-layer
are important components of many soils and package, one layer of Al octahedron sandwiched
marine, lacustrine and terrestrial clayey sedi- between two layers of SiO4 tetrahedra. Water mol-
ments, and matrix of graywacke sandstones ecules are set between three-layer ions of Al, Mg
(Sections and Mainly derived and Fe. The package can expand or narrow due
from the processes of surface rock weathering: to these ions, and manifests itself by changing of
illitization of feldspar and muscovite, and illiti- the volume or strong swelling. The connection be-
zation kaolinite and smectite (Section 5.5.5). tween these two packages is weak. Smectite crys-
Glauconite (from Greek “Glaukonos” ¼ “blue- tallizes in monoclinic system in the form of small
green”) includes a series of green-mixed inter- sheets (<1 mm) and can be explored only by the
layer mica rich in iron, having complex and electron microscope (Fig. 2.15) and X-ray powder
variable chemical composition. It contains vari- diffraction and chemical analysis with the help of
able amounts of isomorphic replacement of Kþ, electronic microsonde.
Fe2þ, Fe3þ, Mg2þ and Al3þ ions. Glauconite ag- Smectite minerals are widespread in soils and
gregates appear in the form of grain diameter clay sediments. The strong absorption of fluids
of several micrometers to several millimeters and some cations are widely used for waste-
and as cryptocrystalline coating. Such grains water treatment, textile industry, production of
cluster rarely and contain only glauconite, and cosmetics and medicine, petroleum industry for
more often enclose interstratified mixed-layer removal of organic liquid and gaseous impu-
glauconite/smectite minerals. These are min- rities, addition of drilling mud, as the insulating
erals that provide green color to many of the buffer layer in preparing the impermeable bar-
rocks, for example, glauconite sandstones and rier in landfills and as adsorbent of harmful sub-
green sandstones. stances in medicine. On the geotechnical and VERMICULITE GROUP

Vermiculite group (Mg, Al, Fe2þ)3 (Si,Al)4 O10
(OH)2$nH2O, belongs to clay minerals, encom-
passing minerals in morphology similar to musco-
vite and biotite. It forms by replacing the K with
some hydrated cations, usually, Mg2þ, a rare
and Ca2þ and Naþ. Vermiculite loses adsorbed
interlayer water when heated. Vermiculite is
found in fine, rare and somewhat larger sheets,
and in other clay minerals as particles <4 mm. It
is formed by weathering or hydrothermal alter-
ation of biotite or phlogopite. Vermiculite is essen- FIGURE 2.15 Sheets clusters and plate crystal of smectite
tial ingredient of soil and clay sediments. The visible by electron (SEM) microscopes.

construction-technological standpoint, smectite and can have pale green color depending on
minerals have unfavorable characteristics by the content of iron. Certain types of chlorite,
increasing the volume of the rock mass causing and their chemistry, can safely be determined
collapse, cracking or even complete collapse of only using X-ray diffraction combined with
construction. chemical analysis. Chlorites are formed by
Montmorillonite (per site montmorillonite) is regional metamorphic processes at lower tem-
the main representative of montmorillonitee peratures, and are regular components of low-
beidellite group with variable Mg content, and grade metamorphic schist, particularly chlorite
beidellite (per site Beidell in Colorado), member and green schist (Table 6.1). Chlorites are regular
of the series with little or no Mg. Clay minerals secondary ingredients of igneous rocks, resulting
montmorilloniteebeidellite groups are impor- from hydrothermal modifications at tempera-
tant mineral constituents of soils, especially in tures ranging between 50 and 400  C from pri-
tropical areas. It is created by the surface weath- mary FeeMg minerals, mainly mica, pyroxene,
ering of rocks, particularly acid tuffs, with the amphibole, garnet and olivine. These minerals
presence of solutions containing Na, Ca, Mg are common in sedimentary rocks, but usually
and ferrous iron. in small amount. It can quickly turn into vermic-
The acidic volcanic glass is altered to smectite ulite, smectite mixed layered minerals with
phyllosilicates, mainly montmorillonitee disordered layers of chloriteevermiculite and
beidellite series under the conditions of low chloriteesmectite by process of weathering.
pH, which is characteristic of fresh and seawater.
The alteration may be associated with an opal, KAOLINeSERPENTINE GROUP
cristobalite and zeolite. Bentonite clay is the A group of kaolineserpentine phyllosilicates
product of weathering of acid vitreous volcanic includes two subgroups: group of dioctahedral
tuffs and ash most often in the presence of water kaolin minerals and group trioctahedral serpen-
(Section 5.6.3). tine minerals (Table 2.11).
Nontronite or Fe smectite is an authigenic Kaolin group implies real clay group of min-
ingredient of clay and mud, usually above the erals. These are pure aluminum silicate with hy-
basalt on the seafloor, and also can be created by droxyl groups that includes kaolinite, dickite
hydrothermal processes of weathering basalt and nacrite. All these three minerals have the
and ultramafic rocks (Sections and same chemical composition of {Al2(OH)4Si2O5},
and are mostly located in very small particles CHLORITE GROUP (<2 mm), and rarely visible as macroscopical crys-
Chlorite group includes hydrated magnesium tals. Kaolinite has the only petrogenic signifi-
and iron hydrosilicates which make mixed crys- cance and is the most abundant mineral in this
tals of complex chemistry, whose general for- group. Dickite is much less prevalent, and nacrite
mula is given in Table 2.11. Chlorite group is very rare. Kaolinite crystallizes in triclinic, and
mostly contains Mg2þ, Al3þ, Fe2þ, Fe3þ, and dickite and nacritein monoclinic system.
some more chlorites Mn2þ, Cr3þ, Ni2þ, V3þ, Kaolinite forms small sheet like crystals or
Zn2þ and Liþ. Part of Al3þ can be replaced by clusters of white earth (clay particles with a
Fe3þ and/or Cr3þ, and part of Mg2þ and Fe2þ diameter <2 mm). Plate kaolinite minerals are
with Mn2þ and Ni2þ. Part of Si4þ sometimes visible only by electron microscopy. It becomes
can be replaced by Fe3þ, B3þ or Be2þ. Magnesium plastic in contact with water. It is produced by
chlorites are known under the name of ortho- the chemical weathering of aluminum silicate
chlorites and iron chlorite as leptochlorites. minerals like feldspar in igneous and metamor-
Chlorite is commonly found in small sheets, phic rock under the influence of CO2. Kaolinite
is an important mineral constituent of many Serpentine forms as a large rock mass mainly
clastic sediments, especially, clay, sand and pel- by pneumatolytic-hydrothermal and hydrother-
ite sediments, marl and clay (Sections 5.5.3 and mal processes of silicate minerals that contain
5.5.4). The complete pure white kaolinite clay is aluminum, especially, olivine and orthopyrox-
known as kaolin and is highly valued mineral re- enes. Special type of such rocks that contain
sources for getting porcelain (Fig. 2.16). Kaolin only serpentine is called serpentinite. Its origin
minerals are important raw material for produc- belongs to the metamorphic rocks formed in hy-
tion of refractory materials, cement, paints, rub- drothermal metamorphism.
ber, plastics, as a filler in paper production and Antigorite forms by metamorphism of amphi-
less pure clay for making pottery and bricks. boles, and are often found as constituents of
The serpentine groups, Mg3 (OH)4 Si2O5, are amphibolite and amphibolite schist.
usually known under the common name of three Serpentinite rocks are used for making orna-
serpentine minerals: lizardite, chrysotile and ments and as a valued dimension stone (espe-
antigorite (Table 2.11). The minerals are typically cially churches) due to the beautiful green
found in microcrystalline sheet and fibrous ag- color, relatively low hardness and homogeneity.
gregates. Sheet aggregates are called antigorite, The other economic importance of serpentine is
and fibrous type as chrysotile. The characteristic for obtaining asbestos that serves as thermal
color of antigorite ranges between pale, gray or insulation and electromaterial resistant to wear.
gray-green, but it changes to dark green to However, its use is reduced to a minimum today
almost black, if part of magnesium isomorphic due to the carcinogenic action.
is replaced with iron.
Lizardite is the most abundant and most Tectosilicates
important petrogenic serpentine mineral, color Tectosilicates ([AlxSiyO2(xþy)]x) structure is
of green as apples, and commonly found in asso- composed of interconnected tetrahedrons going
ciation with chrysotile. outward in all directions forming an intricate
framework (Fig. 2.17). All the oxygens are shared

FIGURE 2.16 Kaolindrock composed of micron fine

particles of white kaolinite. FIGURE 2.17 Tectosilicates framework.

with other tetrahedrons in this subclass. In the tetrahedron is nearly the same with an
near-pure state of only silicon and oxygen, the aluminum at its center, the charge is now a nega-
prime mineral is quartz (SiO2). Aluminum ion tive five (5) instead of the normal negative four
can easily substitute for the silicon ion in the tet- (4). Since the charge in a crystal must be
rahedrons. In other subclasses, this occurs to a balanced, additional cations are needed in the
limited extent but in the tectosilicates it is a major structure and this is the main reason for the great
basis of the varying structures. While the variations within this subclass (Table 2.12).

TABLE 2.12 The Most Important Petrogenic Minerals from the Group Tectosilicates



Orthoclase KAlSi3O8 Sanidine (K,Na)AlSi3O8

Medium-temperature monoclinic Kefeldspar High-temperature monoclinic KeNa feldspar
Microcline KAlSi3O8 Anorthoclase (Na,K)AlSi3O8
Low-temperature trilinic Kefeldspar High-temperature triclinic NaeK feldspar
Isomorphic series of Albite (Ab) - Anorthite (An)
Acid or NaePlagioclase Neutral or Na/CaePlagioclase
Albite NaAlSi3O8 (Ab) Andesine
0e10% an component 30e50% an component
10e30% an component

Labrador Bytownite
50e70% an component 70e90% an component
Anorthite CaAl2Si2O8
90e100% an component
Nepheline KNa3Al4Si4O16 Leucite KAlSi2O6
Fibrous zeolite Cubic zeolites
Natrolite Na2Al2Si3O10$2H2O Analcime NaAlSi2O6$2H2O
Phillipsite contains isomorphic admixtures K, Na, Ca, and 6H2O
Laumonitite CaAl2Si4O12$4.5H2O Heulandite contains isomorphic admixtures K, Ba, Na, Sr, Ca and
Clinoptilolite contains isomorphic admixtures K, Ba,
Na, Sr, Ca, Mg, Fe2þ and 12H2O
2.5. OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN ROCK FORMING MINERALS 75 FELDSPAR GROUP (orthoclase and sanidine) and triclinic feldspars
Feldspar group is petrogenic most important (microcline and anorthoclase). At high tempera-
assemblage of silicate minerals, as it covers tures, it is possible to form mixed crystals of
almost 58% of the Earth’s crust (Table 2.3). The isomorphic replacement of Or-component and
proportion of feldspar is extremely high in Ab-component. Slow cooling at lower tempera-
igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. tures leads to separation and mutual inter-
The chemical compositions of feldspar group growths characteristic modes of these two
represent the aluminosilicates of potassium components. Kefeldspar albite intergrowths
(Or-component), sodium (Ab-component) and known as pertite and albite intergrowths
calcium (An-component). It often forms isomor- Kefeldspar as antipertite. The hardness is from
phic mixture of sodium and calcium compo- 6 to 6.5 and the relative density of 2.55e2.63.
nents, i.e. plagioclase (Table 2.12). Potassium The color is usually white, and sometimes
and sodium component form isomorphic changes from pale pink to reddish due to admix-
mixture only in igneous rocks that crystallize at tures of iron (especially microcline). In micro-
high temperatures and the product is known as cline, K can be in small quantities of
alkali feldspar. This compound is unstable at low isomorphic replacement with Pb2þ and changes
temperatures and divides on orthoclase and to green color and is known as amazonite.
sanidine (Sa). There is only a small part of the Orthoclase (KAlSi3O8) is the monoclinic
K replacement by Na in orthoclase. The share medium-temperature Kefeldspar. It occurs in
of NaAlSi3O8 component usually is about 30% different ways, usually, by crystallization of
and can reach up to 65% in sanidine at high magma. It is an important ingredient of all acidic
temperature. The isomorphic compounds of (granite, granodiorite) to neutral (syenite)
Naefeldspar (Ab) and KeNa feldspar sanidine igneous rocks (Table 4.1). It often occurs in the
(Sa), is known as anorthoclase. pegmatite-stage crystallization of magma and
The crystallographic characteristics of feld- is the essential ingredient of pegmatite. It can
spar are divided into monoclinic and triclinic also occur by hydrothermal process and contains
system. little natrium components and is known as adu-
Monoclinic feldspars that crystallize in the lar. Orthoclase feldspar may arise from regional
monoclinic system (orthoclase and sanidine) metamorphic processes, and is a common ingre-
have a cleavage on plane side (010) and base dient in various crystalline schists (Table 6.1).
(001) pinacoid and cleavage cracks intersect at Orthoclase changes to kaolinite (Section
right angles and are called orthoclase feldspar and sericite with the process of kaolinization
(from the Greek. “Ortho” means “vertically and sericitization, respectively.
and klasis” cleavage). Sanidine ((K,Na)AlSi3O8) is the monoclinic
Triclinic feldspars that crystallize in the high-temperature alkaline KeNa feldspar,
triclinic system (microcline, anorthoclase and which usually contains about 30%, but some-
plagioclase) also have a lateral cleavage planes times up to 62% sodium (Ab) component. It
(010) and base (001) pinacoid but their cleavage is found only in young volcanic discharges or
cracks intersect at a sharp angle of 85e86 (volcanic) rocks (rhyolite, trachyte and dacite).
(Fig. 2.18). Therefore, the Na/Ca isomorphic se- It forms by the crystallization of lava at high
ries albiteeanortite named plagioclase (from Gk. temperatures and its rapid cooling. Sanidine
Plagiosdslope and klasisdcleavage). crystallizes orthoclase during slow cooling of
lava. Sanidine, as a high-temperature alkali ALKALI FELDSPARS The alkali feldspar, is not stable in rocks on the surface
feldspars include monoclinic feldspars or shallow under the surface of the Earth,

FIGURE 2.18 Characteristic crystal forms of feldspar: (A) cross-section through the crystal of triclinic feldspars; (B) ortho-
clase crystal twinningdCarlsbad law; (C) plagioclase crystal twinningdCarlsbad law; (D) plagioclase crystal twinningdAlbite
law; (E) orthoclase crystal twinningdBraveno law; and (F) cross-section of triclinic feldspars with polysynthetic twins.

and gradually recrystallize in orthoclase over recrystallization from feldspar, and sometimes
time. by direct crystallization from magma and hydro-
Microcline (KAlSi3O8) is the triclinic low- thermal processes. Microcline typically displays
temperature Kefeldspar stable at temperatures albite and pericline twining. This combination
lower than 500  C. It is usually formed by leads to a grid pattern (Fig. 2.19).
of SiO2, Naeplagioclase with three Si4þ ions have
more silicon than Caeplagioclase with two Si4þ
ions. Naeplagioclases belong to acid plagioclase
and Caeplagioclases belong to basic plagioclase
(Table 2.12). In fact, pure albite contains 68.7%
SiO2, and a pure anortite only 43.2% SiO2.
Plagioclase is usually found in the form of
granular aggregates in kaolinite, while well-
formed crystals are rare. Special features of
plagioclase crystallization occur from the
magma and lava. It has a tendency to format pol-
ysynthetic twinning (Fig. 2.18(F)) and zonal
FIGURE 2.19 Photograph of thin section microcline
showing the grid structure of twining under cross-polarized structure due to the crystallization sequence
light. from more basic to the acidic crystals twinning.
Plagioclase zone formation, especially those in
Microcline is an essential component of many the volcanic rocks is reflected in the fact that
rocks, especially granite, syenite, pegmatite (Ta- from the center to the edge of the crystals formed
ble 4.1) and gneisses (Table 6.1). In granite, sye- plagioclase are of acid composition, i.e. with less
nite and pegmatites, i.e. acidic, neutral and core An-component. It can be clearly observed as a
igneous rocks, microcline is commonly found zonal darkening of the grain due to changes in
together with feldspar. If the rocks are geologi- the optical properties of this phenomenon.
cally very old, microcline cannot be found with Plagioclase occurs at high and low tempera-
feldspar because eventually orthoclase is recrys- tures, where high temperature creates disordered
tallized in microcline. Microcline is a regular and and low-temperature forms ordered crystal
essential ingredient of sandstone, especially feld- lattice. Plagioclase forms at high temperatures
spar arenaceous rocks and feldspar graywacke are significantly less stable than plagioclase
(Sections and forms at lower temperatures. Plagioclase,
Anorthoclase ((Na,K)AlSi3O8) is a crystalline particularly high-temperature type, is relatively
solid solution in the alkali feldspar series, in which
the sodiumealuminum silicate member exists in
larger proportion. It typically consists of 10e36%
of KAlSi3O8 and 64e90% of NaAlSi3O8. TABLE 2.13 Plagioclase Minerals and Their
Compositions PLAGIOCLASE FELDSPAR SERIES Plagioclase Minerals and Their Compositions

Plagioclases are triclinic feldspars that form a com-
% NaAlSi3O8 % CaAl2Si2O8
plete isomorphic compounds which are the final Mineral (%Ab) (%An)
members of the Naeplagioclase albite NaAlSi3O8
(Ab) and Caeplagioclase anortite CaAl2Si2O8 (An) Albite 100e90 0e10
(Table 2.13). In albite one of the four Si4þ ions is Oligoclase 90e70 10e30
isomorphic substituted with one Al3þ ions, and
Andesine 70e50 30e50
one free () valence is related to Naþ ion. In anor-
tite, two of the four Si4þ ions are isomorphic Labradorite 50e30 50e70
replaced with two Al3þ ions, while the remaining Bytownite 30e10 70e90
two () valence neutralize one Ca2þ ion. The acid-
Anorthite 10e0 90e100
ity and basicity of silicates define with the amount

easily influenced by water and weathering. It Leucite (KAlSi2O6) crystallizes in cubic system,
generates kaolinite and sericite, and under certain and usually has well-developed free, colorless,
conditions metamorphosed in clusters of zoisite, white or pale-gray crystals in the form of cubic
epidote, albite, quartz and actinolite known as icositetrahedra. It is a high-temperature mineral
sosirite. High-temperature basic plagioclases of which crystallizes in alkalis lava rich and poor
volcanics (basalts and diabase) are replaced in hy- in silicon. It is never found together with quartz.
drothermal processes with low-temperature acid It is often associated with nepheline and alkali
plagioclasedalbite (albitization). Such rocks are feldspar, alkali pyroxene and analcime. It can
known as spilites (Table 4.1). be found in young volcanic rocks rich in K and
Plagioclase minerals are extremely wide- poor in SiO2, and in intrusive rocks only located
spread and abundant. It is an essential or impor- in alkali syenite. It is a regular ingredient of
tant constituent of many igneous, metamorphic younger alkaline effusive rocks, for example, in
and sedimentary rocks (acidic, neutral and basic, lava of Vezuves, clinkstones, trachyte and tuff
pegmatite igneous rocks, amphibolite schist and (Table 4.1). It is an unstable mineral that quickly
gneiss, feldspar sandstone, siltstone and shale destroys into the clay minerals on Earth’s
(Tables 4.1 and 6.1)). surface. GROUP FELDSPATHOIDS ZEOLITES GROUP

The feldspathoids are a group of tectosilicates The zeolites includes hydrated alumosilicates
and alkali alum-silicate minerals which resemble of alkali (Na and K) and earth-alkaline (Ca, Ba,
feldspar, but have a different structure and much and Sr) elements. The group is represented by
poor in silica content and alkali-rich elements large number of minerals of different chemical
like sodium, potassium and lithium. Feldspa- composition, but with similar properties. The
thoids occur in rare and unusual types of basic feature of their chemical composition is
igneous rocks. The main minerals of the feldspa- the water content, which is in adsorption and
thoids group are nepheline and leucite (Table poorly connected to the grid (zeolite water).
2.12). Such water zeolites are losing when heated, but
Nepheline (KNa3Al4Si4O16) (along with the va- water is easily readmitted in its lattice. Zeolite
riety known as eleolite) is the most widespread crystallizes in different morphological forms, in
of all feldspathoids. It crystallizes in the hexago- different crystal systems: cubic, orthorhombic
nal system. It usually has the form of a short, six- monoclinic and hexagonal. All, however, have
sided prism terminated by the basal plane. It is very similar properties: usually colorless or
found in compact, granular aggregates, and gray due to impurities, the relative density of
can be white, yellow, gray, green, or even red- 2.1e2.4 and weakly resistant to chemical
dish color (in the eleolite variety). The hardness weathering.
is 5.5e6, and the specific gravity between 2.56 Zeolites arise from the secretion of aqueous
and 2.66. It is often translucent with a greasy solutions. It is often found in crevices and cav-
luster. It is characteristic of alkali rocks as neph- ities of younger igneous rocks. Zeolites are com-
eline syenites and gneisses, alkali gabbros, in mon constituents of soil, where it occurs as
sodium-rich hypabyssal rocks, tuffs and lavas, colloidal weathering products of various min-
and pegmatites, as a product of sodium metaso- erals. Petrogenic most important zeolites are
matism. Nepheline has economic importance as given in Table 2.12.
a raw material in chemical industry, leather tan- Natrolite is very common fibrous zeolite, end-
ning, and manufacture of glass, ceramics and member of isomorphic series of NaeCa zeolites.
paints. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and
occurs as needle or radial crystals, particularly in It occurs in cavities of effusive rocks (especially
basalt. in the basalt).
Laumontite, heulandite and clinoptilolite are
monoclinic zeolite. It usually crops up as pris- FURTHER READING
matic (laumontite), plate or wedge shape (heu-
landite and clinoptilolite). Laumontite occurs in Reading of text books authored by Pirsson,33
igneous rocks, typically as a product of hydro- Dana9 and Rösle38 will be an intelligent
thermal exchange, and in sedimentary rocks as approach to step into the theme of Mineralogy
conversion of plagioclase. and Petrology. The fundamental concepts of
Analcime and phillipsite are cubic zeolites, ex- mineralogy and petrology are explained by
ists in collective community with other zeolites. Gaines et al.21 and Klein et al.27

Basic Petrology

3.1. Introduction 81 3.4.1. Origin of the Earth 86 The Protoplanet
3.2. Structure of the Earth 83
Hypothesis 87
3.3. Classification of Rocks 85 The Nebular Hypothesis 88
3.3.1. Igneous Rocks 85 Age of the Earth 88
3.3.2. Sedimentary Rocks 85 3.4.2. Plate Tectonics 89
3.3.3. Metamorphic Rocks 86
Further Reading 91
3.4. Origin of Earth and Theory of Plate
Tectonics 86

Petrology (from Greek: “Petra”d“rock” and
“logos”d“knowledge”) is the study of rocks,
their occurrences, composition, origin and evolu-
tion. This research also focuses on the study of
minerals and meteorites (Fig. 3.1) as model to
unravel the interiors of planetary bodies. Petrog-
raphy deals with the detailed description and
classification of rocks, whereas petrology focuses
primarily on the rock formation, or petrogenesis.
A petrological description includes definition of FIGURE 3.1 Iron meteorite of 179 kg by weight: fragment
of a huge massive object that crashed into the Arizona desert
the unit in which the rock occurs, its attitude about 50,000 years ago and created the Barringer lunar
and structure, its mineralogy and chemical meteor impact circular crater of 1280 m diameter.
composition, and conclusions regarding its Photo source and courtesy: Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, CA.

Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology 81 Copyright Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

origin. The task of petrologists is to carry out Petrology is essentially a fundamental part of
research and study rocks, independent of geology. Rocks, as mineral aggregates, are
geological bodies, which are integral parts of composed of certain minerals, so petrology is
the lithosphere and are clearly different from closely associated with the mineralogy.
their surroundings. Determination of mineral constituents and
chemical composition of rocks is necessary to
know and distinguish minerals, and also for
Meteorite, small to extremely large size, is a resolving the origin of rocks. It is also necessary
natural object originating in the outer space that to have a good knowledge of the origin of min-
falls on Earth creating great surface impact. Most erals (mineral genesis). The researchers in this
meteorites are derived from small celestial bodies area conduct field- and laboratory-based experi-
as well as produced by impacts of asteroids from mental modeling supported by advanced
the solar system. Meteorites are composed of sil- computational tools to read the records and un-
icate minerals and/or metallic ironenickel. The derstand the potential of high-temperature and
structure of Igneous Complex at Sudbury Mining high-pressure processes.
District, Canada is formed as the result of a Petrology is closely associated with chemis-
meteorite (1850 Ma age) impact that produced a try, especially mineral chemistry and geochem-
150e280 km multiring crater, containing 2e5-km- istry, for the purposes of studying the complex
thick sheet of andesite melt. The immiscible sul- chemical reactions and processes that lead to
fide liquid differentiated into NiePlatinum Group crystallization, or conversion of minerals and
of Element dominated contact deposits by crys- rocks, as well as studying the share of chemical
tallization. There are 100þ deposits/mines having elements in minerals, rocks, lithosphere, hydro-
a total resource, including past production, of sphere and atmosphere.
1648 million tonnes at 1% Ni, 1% Cu, and 1 g/t Petrology experiments and draws conclusive
Pd þ Pt. records about evolution and constitution of the
Earth beneath its rocky crust. It is primarily
based on volcanic eruptions, shape and composi-
The primary and most significant processes to
tion of igneous bodies that have reached Earth’s
be focused are the following:
surface by tectonic processes and erosion. The
1. Tectonic movements of rock masses. fundamental research of meteorites in solar sys-
2. Volcanic eruptions and injection of magma tem provides additional support to these studies.
into the lithosphere. The geophysical responses of contrast in seismic
3. Physical, chemical and biological weathering velocity propagating through certain parts of the
and deposition in the surface areas of rocky crust and underneath have also been
rocky crust and in the hydrosphere and acclaimed significant importance. It has been un-
atmosphere. derstood that the Earth has different laminate
4. Mutual chemical reactions and biological structures distinguished by either chemical or
processes in aqueous solutions. their rheological properties. This is based on
5. Metamorphic changes due to increasing remarkable geophysical response of primary
pressure and temperature at greater depths of seismic wave, particularly establishing the exis-
covering. tence of two major and a number of less pro-
6. Melting, migration, recrystallization, nounced discontinuity obtained. The two major
degassing and similar events on rocks. planes of discontinuity are established between

FIGURE 3.2 (A) Schematic diagram of the Earth’s structure representing a three-dimensional perspective and (B) a
sectional view portraying from central core to outer surface.

crustemantle and mantleecore boundary. The 3.2. STRUCTURE OF THE EARTH

minor discontinuities are set up between upper,
middle and lower mantle as well as outer and in- The Earth is an oblate spheroid. It is
ner core (Fig. 3.2). Therefore, petrology is also composed of a number of different layers in
associated with geophysics and has an important spherical shells as determined by deep drilling
role in geophysical research of the lithosphere. and seismic evidence (Fig. 3.2). These layers are
the following:

1. The Earth can broadly be modeled as an

Rheology is the study of the flow of the mantle,
outer solid silicate crust, a highly viscous
normally in the liquid state, but often as sift solids
mantle, a liquid outer core that is much less
or solids that react as plastic flow in contrast to
viscous than the mantle, and a solid inner
deforming elastically to the applied force.

2. The core is approximately 7000 km in increasing temperature and pressure. The litho-
diameter (3500 km in radius) and is located at sphere is also the favorable zone of earthquakes,
the Earth’s center. mountain building, volcanoes, and continental
3. The mantle surrounds the core and has a drift.
thickness of 2900 km. The topmost part of the lithosphere consists of
4. The crust floats on top of the mantle. It is crust. This material is cool, rigid, and brittle. Two
composed of basalt-rich oceanic crust and types of crust can be identified: oceanic crust and
granitic-rich continental crust. continental crust (Fig. 3.2). Both these types of
crust are less dense than the rock found in the
The core is a layer rich in iron and nickel that is underlying upper layer of the mantle. Ocean
composed of two layers: the inner and the outer crust is thin and the thickness varies between 4
cores. The inner core is theorized to be solid with and 12 km. It is also composed of basalt and
a density of about 10.3 g/cm3 in comparison to has a density of about 3 g/cm3.
Earth’s average density of 5.52 g/cm3 and a The thickness of the continental crust varies
radius of about 1220 km. The outer core is liquid between 40 and 70 km and composed mainly
and has a density of about 6 g/cm3. It surrounds of lighter granites, pegmatites and gneisses
the inner core and has an average thickness of (Fig. 3.2). The density of continental crust is
about 2250 km. about 2.8 g/cm3. Both these crust types are
The mantle is almost 2900 km thick and com- composed of numerous tectonic plates that float
prises about 83% of the Earth’s volume. It is on top of the mantle. These plates move slowly
composed of several different layers. The upper across the asthenosphere caused by the convec-
mantle exists from the base of the crust down- tion currents within the mantle.
ward to a depth of about 400 km. This region The continental and oceanic crusts have one
of the Earth’s interior is thought to be composed common property. These tectonic plates have
of peridotite, an ultramafic rock made up of the the ability to rise and sink. This phenomenon,
minerals olivine and pyroxene. known as isostasy, occurs because the crust floats
The middle layer of the mantle, 400e1000 km on top of the mantle-like ice cubes in water.
below surface, is called the asthenosphere. Scienti- These tectonic plates deform and sink deeper
fic studies suggest that this layer has physical into the mantle as and when the Earth’s crust
properties that are different from the rest of the gains weight due to mountain building or glaci-
upper mantle. The rocks in this upper portion ations. The crust becomes more buoyant and
of the mantle are more rigid and brittle because floats higher in the mantle if the weight is
of cooler temperatures and lower pressures. removed.
The lower mantle stands below the upper mantle The Mohorovicic discontinuity (Moho) is the line
and extends from 1000 to 2900 km below the between the Earth’s crust and the mantle. It sepa-
Earth’s surface. This layer is hot and plastic. rates oceanic crust and continental crust from the
The higher pressure in this layer causes the for- mantle. The Mohorovicic discontinuity named af-
mation of minerals that are different from those ter Andrija Mohorovicic, a Croatian geophysicist,
of the upper mantle. who has established it. The Mohorovicic disconti-
The lithosphere is a layer that includes the crust nuity is 5e10 km (3e6 miles) below the ocean
and the upper portion of the mantle (Fig. 3.2). floor and 20e90 km (10e60 miles) beneath the
This layer is about 400 km thick and has the abil- continents.
ity to glide over the rest of the upper mantle. The The Gutenberg discontinuity, named after
deeper portions of the lithosphere are capable of German scientist Bruno Gutenberg, is located
plastic flow over geologic time because of at 2900 km depth beneath the Earth’s surface.
The boundary is observed by the applications of
seismic waves. This discontinuity is due to the
differences between the acoustic impedances of
the solid mantle and the molten outer core.

Isostasy (“isos” is “equal” and “stásis” means

“standstill”) is the state of gravitational equilib-
rium between the lithosphere and asthenosphere
such that the tectonic plates “float” at an elevation
which depends on their thickness and density to
explain the different topographic heights on Earth FIGURE 3.3 The Himalayan snow-capped peaks ranging
surface (Fig. 3.3). In the event of any dynamic between 10,000 and 15,000 ft (3000 and 4500 m) high above
change in isostasy, the plates collide or move mean sea level (MSL) in the background and “Deodar
causing Earthquake, Tsunami and related natural (Cedrus deodara) and Chilgoza pines (Pinus gerardiana)” in the
foreground, viewed from Kalpa town in Himachal Pradesh,
hazards and calamities.
India. The central core of the mountain range consists of
Atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the intrusive granite rising as pointed high peaks within meta-
Earth by gravity, distributed from surface upward phyllites. The Himalaya Mountain is still young and rising
as Troposphere, Stratosphere with ozone layer, by the force of the impacting Indian plates under the Tibetan
Mesosphere and Ionosphere. It protects life forms plates and that makes the area earthquake prone.
by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation and
greenhouse effect (water vapor, carbon dioxide,
that are originally formed in and/or on the
methane and ozone). Air is the part of atmosphere
Earth. They occur in two main ways:
used for breathing and photosynthesis.
Biosphere is the universal sum of total 1. Underground: direct cooling, crystallization
ecosystem or the zone of life for plants, animals and solidification of rocks inside the Earth’s
and microbes on the Earth’s crust controlled by crust from molten rock mass (magma). The
natural self-regulating system. type is intrusive (plutonic).
Hydrosphere is the physical distribution of the 2. On surface: crystallization of the lava, i.e.
combined mass of water found under, on, and magma poured onto the surface of the Earth,
over the surface of the Earth. seabed or shallow under surface of the Earth.
The type is extrusive (volcanic).

3.3.2. Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary (depositional) rocks are formed
in the sea, fresh water or on land by precipita-
The rocks of Earth’s crust are divided into
tion, deposition and sedimentation processes
three main groups (Fig. 3.4) according to the
(Fig. 3.6) of the following:
manner of their origin.
1. Solid waste material of physical and chemical
weathering of rocks formed earlier.
3.3.1. Igneous Rocks
2. Organogenic or fossil remains and other
Igneous (“ignis” means “fire” in Latin and biochemical and chemical products extracted
eruptive) rocks (Fig. 3.5) are the primary rocks from the water.





MIS = Igneous intrusive rocks VS = Vulcanic rocks

MS = Metamorphic rocks S = Sedimentary rocks

FIGURE 3.4 Conceptual diagram depicting the mode of formation and three fundamental genetic types of rocks that make
up the Earth’s crust: Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic.

occurs under increased temperature (þ150 to

200  C) and pressure (þ1500 bars) at greater
depth of covering or at the contacts with magma
in the Earth’s rocky crust. The metamorphic pro-
cess accelerates with the introduction of chemi-
cally active fluids.
Clarke7, an US geochemist, calculated the
lithosphere to a depth of 16 km. He opined
that the lithosphere is consisting of 95% of
igneous rocks and 5% of sedimentary rocks.
The metamorphic rock components are in-
cluded into the igneous or sedimentary group
depending from which the original rocks are
FIGURE 3.5 A typical light-color fine- to medium-
grained igneous rock (granite) containing interlocking min-
metamorphosed. He also observed that from a
erals of quartz (white) and feldspar (light rosy or pink) with total of 5% of sedimentary rocks, around 4%
minor grains (black) of actinolitic hornblende, biotite and are shales, only about 0.75% sandstones and
chlorite. Source: Prof. A.B. Roy. remaining 0.25% limestone.

3.3.3. Metamorphic Rocks 3.4. ORIGIN OF EARTH AND

Metamorphic (transformed) rocks (Fig. 3.7)
are formed by metamorphism of preexisting
3.4.1. Origin of the Earth
igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
with changes in crystal form (texture and struc- There are many different hypotheses on the
ture) in solid state. The mineral transformation origin of the solar system, including the Earth
FIGURE 3.6 A classical example of sedi-
mentary rock formation of shale (gray) and
limestone (yellowish brown) with sharp
contact at the snow capped summit of
Jungfrau, one of the main peak of Bernese
Alps, Switzerland. Photo from top of Europe
at 11,782 ft or 3571 m above mean sea level,
September, 2009. The position of the in situ
rock at high altitude is due to mountain
building process of Alps.

as a planet of this system. The most famous and passed, the cloud shrank under the pull of its
accepted among them are the following: own gravitation or was made to collapse by the
explosion of a passing star. Most of the cloud’s The Protoplanet Hypothesis material gathered around its own center. Its
The protoplanet hypothesis suggests that a shrinking made it rotate faster, like a spinning
great cloud of gas and dust of at least 10,000 whirlpool. The compression of its material
million kilometers in diameter rotated slowly in made its interior so hot that a powerful reaction,
space about 5,000 million years ago. As time hydrogen fusion, began and the core of the cloud

FIGURE 3.7 A typical metamorphic rock

composed of biotite, quartz, feldspar gneiss
displaying strong fluxion banding with
numerous white porphyroblasts and por-
phyoclasts of feldspar showing varying de-
grees of flattening into the fabric. This
implies blastesis during the mylonitization
of sediments.

blazed into a newborn Sun. About 10% of the protoplanetary disk is a rotating circumstellar
material in the cloud formed a great plate-like disk of dense gas surrounding a young newly
disk surrounding the Sun far into space. Friction formed star, i.e. a TTS. If the disk is massive
within the disk caused most of its mass to collect enough, the runaway accretions begin resulting
in a number of huge whirlpools or eddies. These in the rapidd100,000e300,000 yearsdformation
eddies shrank into more compact masses called of Moon- to Mars-sized planetary embryos. The
protoplanets and later formed planets and planetary embryos undergo through a stage of
moons. Some uncollected material remains violent mergers, producing a few terrestrial
even today as comets, meteoroids, and planets near the star. The last stage takes around
asteroids’. 100 millione1,000 million years. The Nebular Hypothesis

The nebular hypothesis is the most widely Star is a massive and luminous sphere of vast
accepted model explaining the formation and plasma held together by gravitational forces.
evolution of the Solar System. It was first pro- Sun is the nearest star to the planet Earth and is
posed in 1734 by Emanuel Swedenborg, a the source of most of the energy on the planet.
Swedish scientist with occupation as mining Stars are innumerable in number and can be
engineer, anatomist and astronomer. The hy- seen glowing and twinkling far away in the
pothesis was originally applied only to our night. Stars are grouped together forming
own Solar System. This method of planetary constellations.
system formation is now thought to be A planet is an astronomical or celestial object
at work throughout the universe. The nebular orbiting a star. Planet is massive enough to rotate
hypothesis postulates that the stars form in its own axis by its own gravity.
in massive and dense clouds of molecular The Solar System consists of the Sun (Star) and
hydrogendgiant molecular clouds. They are its planetary system of eight, their moons formed
gravitationally unstable, and matter coalesces 4,600 million years ago from the collapse of a giant
to smaller and denser clumps within, which cloud. The eight planets from nearest to the Sun
then proceed to collapse and form stars. Star outwards are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars (rocks
formation is a complex process, which always and metals), Jupiter, Saturn (hydrogen and heli-
produces a gaseous protoplanetary disk um), Uranus, and Neptune (watereammonia and
around the young star. This may give birth to methane). All planets rotate in almost circular
planets in certain circumstances, which are orbits that lie within a nearly flat disk called the
not well known. Thus the formation of plane- ecliptic plane.
tary systems is thought to be a natural result Star, planets and solar system are originated
of star formation. A Sun-like star usually takes from the same giant massive parent cloud and
around 100 million years to form. dust and complimentary to each other.
The protoplanetary disk is an accretion disk
which continues to feed the central star. The
disk is initially very hot and cools later in what Age of the Earth
are known as the “T Tauri Star (TTS)” stage by Some of the oldest surface felsic rocks on
possible formation of small dust grains made Earth had been found in the Canadian Shield,
of rocks and ices. The grains may eventually Australia and Africa with age varying between
coagulate into kilometer-sized planetesimals. 2,500 and 3,800 million years. The oldest rock
Planetesimals are solid objects thought to exist from Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt on the coast
in protoplanetary disks and in debris disks. A of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec was dated as
3,800e4,280 million years at McGill University. The lithosphere portrays the Earth’s evolution
In 1999, the oldest-known rock of the Acasta history which is constantly changingdit was
Gneiss of the Slave craton in northwestern changing yesterdaydit is changing today and
Canada was dated to 4,031  3 million years. will continue to change in the future. It is assumed
The age of the Earth is estimated as 4,540 million that initially the lithosphere was a uniform contin-
years based on evidence from radiometric age uous mass (Supercontinent) during late Paleozoic
dating of meteorite materials. This has been era and known as Pangaea. The lithosphere was
corroborated by the age dating of the oldest- gradually separated and rifted into several parts,
known rocks of granulites gneissesedimentary and then in the Carboniferous and Permian era
siliciclasticemafic/ultramafic sequence (zircon (about the 350e250 million of years) recollected.
crystal) from Jack Hills, Western Australia as The separation repeated again during the Triassic
4,404 million years. Basaltic rock samples, period (before w250e200 millions of years) to cur-
collected from the Moon surface and from the rent configuration of the component continents
highlands during 1993 space mission, have consisting of multiple faults separated plates of
been measured by radiometric dating techniques different thickness and extension. However,
and age reported as 3,160 and 4,500 million years from the Triassic to the present, there is a global
old, respectively. tendency of reapproaching these plates. The term
The recent estimate by the astrophysicist as well plate includes some solid parts of the oceanic or
as dating of meteorite can be summarized that the continental crust which are apart from each other
upper limit of the Solar System including the Earth with large horizontal (transform) faults, mountain
is 4,567,000,000 years or 4,567 million years. chains, oceanic arcs, oceanic ridges and trenches.
There exist seven such primary plates on the Earth
today with roughly defined boundaries: the Pa-
3.4.2. Plate Tectonics
cific Plate, the North American Plate, the South
The upper part of the Earth is composed of a American Plate, the African Plate, the Eurasian
solid rock mass and divided into continental Plate, the Indo-Australian plate and the Antarctic
crust, oceanic crust and upper mantle or the lith- plate. There is equal number of smaller secondary
osphere as clearly illustrated in Fig. 3.2. The lith- plates on Earth: Arabian Plate, Caribbean Plate,
osphere is underlain below by a melt or Cocos plate, Indian Plate, Juan de Fuca Plate,
asthenosphere. Since the formation of the Earth, Nazca Plate, Philippine Plate and Scotia plate. In
more than 4,500 million years ago, the surface addition, there are several small tertiary plates
and its interior are constantly undergoing that are grouped with major primary plates,
rebuilding processes that create, release and without having distinct identity. Some related def-
transfer heat energy, and the process of cooling initions are the following:
of parts of its surface. While the Sun heats the at-
mosphere and the very surface of the Earth, the 1. Transform faults are the horizontal
primary heat sources for the Earth’s interior are displacements, or spaces, between plates and
radioactive processes which release a very also the main place of earthquakes that have
high-temperature. Thus the emerged heat is shallow epicenter under the surface of the
transferred from the interior to the Earth’s sur- Earth.
face and in the lithosphere leads to remelting of 2. Oceanic ridges stand as boundaries between
rocks. The melting of rocks and minerals in the the divergent plates movement. In that
lithosphere is endothermic reaction, i.e. absorp- process, magma is injected between plates or
tion of heat. The crystallization of minerals is poured on the ocean floor forming growth of
exothermic reaction, i.e. heat release process. oceanic crust. The mid-oceanic ridges and

growth of the oceanic crust represent in the underscores (subduction) under a continent
form of effusive volcanic rocks. In this way, or island arc (Fig. 3.8). Subduction zone is
for example, Middle-Atlantic ridge at the slope surface tilted in the direction of
bottom of the Atlantic Ocean was originated. subduction, along which the main focus of
In the lithosphere, this growth of oceanic earthquake takes place and along which
crust, however, compensates with convergent remelting of rocks occur.
plate movement (subduction) or underscores
one plate under another, which leads to Plate movement, mobility of mountain
narrowing of areas of the ocean or even ranges and oceanic ridges are recognized under
disappearance of the ocean. the common names such as plate tectonics or
3. Subduction zone is a place where the Earth’s global tectonics. Plate tectonics and global tec-
crust is broken down and consumes part of tonics explain almost all the geological phenom-
the oceanic crust or oceanic plate, which ena on large scale, particularly closely

FIGURE 3.8 Illustrations of the three types of plate boundaries such as transform (top), convergent (middle) and divergent
(bottom) associated with the relative process of plate tectonics.
associated with earthquakes, faults, volcanic the resulting overthrust structures are the
areas, the origin of mountain chains (orogeny), consequence of pulling in both directions. The
oceanic arcs, oceanic ridges and the deep ocean uplift causes deposition of clastic flysch
trenches or furrows. sediments on both sides of the mountain
Orogenetic movements, i.e. orogeny or pro- areas.
cesses of forming mountain chains in the Earth’s
crust, are a direct consequence of plate tectonics
and subduction. There are two basic types of
Ophiolite is the thrust sheets of ancient oceanic
orogeny: “collisional” and “noncollisional”.
crust and upper part of mantle rocks that has been
1. Collisional orogeny includes long-term uplifted and exposed above sea level and often
underscore or subduction zone where it has emplaced on top of the continental lithosphere.
consumed and melted much of the oceanic Ophiolite is composed of green colored altered
crust and oceanic plates. This leads to a spilite (fine-grained oceanic basalt), pillow lava,
mutual approach of two continents, or even serpentinites, gabbros and chert. It occurs close to
up to their clash or the clash of the continent the oceanic ridges, orogenic belt, within mountain
and the island arc. In this type of orogeny, belts of Alps and Himalayas, documenting the
clastic flysch sediments do not occur, and existence of former ocean basins that have now
overthrust structures have only one direction. been absorbed by thrusts, subduction zone and
Subduction zone reaches deep into the plate tectonics.
lithosphere and along with it the magma
inject from very deep source (from the
asthenosphere), forming ophiolite igneous
rocks. The ophiolite groups and assemblages The main volcanoes on Earth are located in
are the community of basic, ultrabasic/ areas of divergent and convergent plate move-
ultramafic intrusives (gabbro, peridotite, and ment, and the most significant places of forma-
pyroxenite) and effusive igneous rocks that tion of igneous (volcanic) rocks are now
originate from oceanic crust (Sections, divergent plate margins, especially middle and oceanic ridges, which makes annually over
2. Noncollisional orogeny is associated with the 20 km3 of basalt rocks.
converging trends by pinch of the plates and
subduction. The orogeny takes place over part
of the oceanic crust and the oceanic plate is FURTHER READING
subducted under the island arc, as, for
example, the case in the present oceanic The Principles of Petrology-An Introduction to the
trenches in the western Pacific. The andesite Science of Rocks by G.W. Tyrrell56 is worth
volcanism is strong above the subduction reading for the beginners in this subject. Blatt
zone and the basaltic volcanism is most active et al.2 will be a good reference for overall
on the ocean bottom. Metamorphic zones petrology. The interior of the Earth by Bott5 is
exist on both sides of the subduction zone and informative.

Igneous Rocks


4.1. Origin of Igneous Rocks 94 4.3. Main Group of Igneous Rocks and
4.1.1. Properties of Magma and Lava 94 Their Composition 104
4.1.2. Bowen’s Reaction Series 95 4.3.1. Mineral Composition of Intrusive
4.1.3. Cooling of Magma after Igneous Rocks 104
Crystallization 96 Felsic Intrusive Igneous
Rocks 105
4.2. Classification of Igneous Rocks 98 Intermediate Intrusive
4.2.1. Forms of Appearance and
Igneous Rocks 108
Structure of the Intrusive Mafic Intrusive Igneous
(Plutonic) Igneous Rocks 100
Rocks 109 Forms of Intrusive Ultrabasic and Ultramafic
(Plutonic) Igneous Rocks 100
Intrusive Igneous Rocks 113 Textures of Intrusive
4.3.2. Mineral Composition of Extrusive
(Plutonic) Igneous Rocks 101
Igneous Rocks 116 Shapes and Structures of Felsic Extrusive Igneous
Veins Igneous Rocks 102
Rocks 116
4.2.2. Forms of Appearance and Intermediate Extrusive
Structure of the Extrusive
Igneous Rocks 117
(Volcanic) Igneous Rocks 102 Mafic Extrusive Igneous Forms of Extrusive
Rocks 118
Igneous Rocks 102
4.3.3. Veins Igneous Rocks 120 Textures of Extrusive
Igneous Rocks 103 Further Reading 120

Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology 93 Copyright Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

4.1. ORIGIN OF IGNEOUS ROCKS The mid-oceanic ridges (basalt) are example of
submarine volcanic activity.
The origin of the solar system and particularly The igneous rocks include exceptionally large
the planet Earth including its internal structure verities depending on the source, composition
(crust, mantle and core) is discussed in the previ- and types of parent magma, nature of emplace-
ous chapter. Igneous rocks and its sedimentary ment, cooling, crystallization and finally solidifica-
and metamorphic complements constitute the tion. The essential characteristic features of igneous
entire Earth’s crust. Therefore, systematic study rocks, in comparison to sedimentary and meta-
of the igneous rocks, i.e. igneous petrology, is a morphic counter parts, are the complete absence
fundamental necessity to understand the geolog- of fossils and distinctive internal texture and struc-
ical science. ture of the same. The first character is due to the
Igneous rocks are the natural products of cool- amazing source material of extremely hot molten
ing, crystallization and solidification of extremely magma from deep inside the Earth. The second
hot mobile molten material (magma) originated feature is the result of slow or fast cooling, crystal-
from the deepest parts of the Earth. This process lization and solidification of the magma.
of formation of igneous rocks is the earliest mech-
anism of rock formation and accountable for the
4.1.1. Properties of Magma and Lava
growth and evolution of the present day solid
Earth. The mode of formation can be either intru- Igneous rocks are formed in cooling, crystalli-
sive (plutonic) or extrusive (volcanic). zation and solidification of minerals from
Intrusive igneous rocks are formed by cooling, magma inside the Earth or crystallization of
crystallization and solidification of magma lava ejected from volcanoes on Earth’s surface
within the Earth’s crust surrounded by preexist- or on the seafloor (Fig. 3.2).
ing country rocks. These rocks are generally Magma (Greek: magma means hot, molten
medium to coarse grained. The rocks may be mass) is the name for the molten mass in the
extremely coarse (pegmatite) and easily identifi- Earth’s interior that penetrates the lithosphere.
able. The rocks are designated, according to the If one visits inside the Earth’s surface or on the
shape, size and relationship with the existing seabed, he will come across a molten shiny
formation, as abyssal (deep seated), hypabyssal mass, having temperature between 700 and
(near surface), batholiths (large felsic/intermedi- 1200  C, and the same is called the lava (Latin:
ate massive plutonic), stocks (massive plutons), lavare means flow).
laccoliths (concordant plutonic sheets between Igneous rocks, those are formed by slow and
sedimentary layers), sills (concordant tabular gradual cooling and crystallization of minerals
plutonic sheets within volcanic/sedimentary/ from magma inside the Earth, i.e. deeper below
metamorphic rocks) and dykes (plutonic sheets the surface, are called intrusive (plutonic) igneous
cut discordantly across existing rocks) (Fig. 4.5). rocks (from the Latin “intrudere” meaning to
Extrusive igneous rocks are formed at the “break” or “Pluto” representing “God of the un-
crust’s surface as a result of the partial melting derworld”). The igneous rocks exist on the sur-
of rocks within the mantle and crust. The molten face of the Earth today due to tectonic
rocks, with or without suspended crystals and movements to rise near or at the very surface
gas bubbles, erupt outside the crust due to lower of the Earth or with strong erosion of the existing
density and spread as lava. Volcanic eruptions rocks that covered the surface.
into air and ocean are termed as subaerial and Igneous rocks, those are formed by relatively
submarine, respectively. The rocks cool and solid- rapid cooling, crystallization of lava from vol-
ify very quickly and are fine grained in general. canoes on Earth’s surface or on the seafloor,
and are called effusive (volcanic) igneous rocks the stone. The gases and vapors have a decisive
(from the Latin “effusio” means “discharge”). role in the formation of ore deposits of magmatic
There are transitional types between these type. The origin of many of these ore deposits re-
two main groups and are formed by cooling lates to the last stage of crystallization of magma,
and crystallization of magma, lava and hot solu- i.e. pneumatolytic and hydrothermal stage.
tion (hydrothermal), gases and vapors (pneuma) The viscosity of magma depends primarily on
introduced into the cracks and cavities of rocks. its chemical composition and temperature. The
The rocks formed in accumulation and lithi- felsic magmas are rich in silica and are more
faction of clasts and volcanic ash that originated viscous than basic magma, which is poor in sil-
from explosive volcanic eruptions is called pyro- ica. This cause changes the speed of lava flow
clastics or pyroclastic rocks (from Greek “pyros” and form of occurrences of volcanic rocks. The
meaning “fire” and “klastos” meaning “broken basic lava with poor viscosity flows much faster
off”). The most of volcano-clastic fragments than the acid magmas and spills in the form of
deposited after the transfer of pyroclastic flows, volcanic plates. The acid lava with high viscosity
air and water, while in the sea, lakes or rivers has almost no flow, but resembles as thick
mixes with nonvolcanic sediment material. The malleable paste from volcanic craters.
pyroclastic rocks resemble characteristics of
clastic sedimentary rocks. These rocks are usu-
4.1.2. Bowen’s Reaction Series
ally included into the study along with the clastic
sedimentary rocks (Chapter 5.6). Bowen’s reaction series (Fig. 4.1) is the work
Each of these major genetic groups of igneous of Norman L. Bowen, a researcher of petrologist
rocks is characterized by a particular shape, at Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution
appearance and characteristic structures and tex- of Washington. He explained through his
tures by which geologists, especially petrologists, revolutionized experimental petrology the un-
can recognize and identify their mode of origin. derstanding of discriminating mineral crystalli-
The chemical composition of magma and lava zation. He could illuminate the reason for
is very complex and the magma or lava from certain types of minerals tend to be found
different places can be very different. However, together, while others never associate jointly.
the most important chemical elements in any He crushed and grinded original igneous rocks
magma and lava are oxygen, silicon, aluminum, along with mixtures of chemicals that could
iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium make up igneous rocks and experimented with
and titanium. The magma and lava also contain their melting. He would heat the powered mate-
many other elements, as well as different amounts rial at 1600  C or more until it completely melt.
of water vapor mixed with easily volatile compo- The melt is cooled to a target temperature, for
nents, i.e. gases and vapors, such as hydrogen sul- example 1400  C. He would hold it at that tem-
fide (HS), hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen perature for long enough (minutes, hours or
chloride (HCl), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur diox- days) to allow crystal formation and there after
ide (SO2), hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur. quick cooling the material by throwing into a
The chemical composition of the magma or bucket of water. The resulting crystallized min-
lava, and particularly gases and steam, with erals that formed in the process of melting and
both cooling and crystallization play a significant cooling are examined. Nonmineralized left-over
role as it defines mineral communities together material would be glass. He further observed
and crystallize to form different kinds of rocks, that there are two sequences of minerals: the
determine the viscosity of magma and facilitate discontinuous reaction series and the continuous
its penetration through the rocks and cracks in reaction series.

FIGURE 4.1 Bowen’s reaction series depicting the sequence of crystallization of minerals in descending order of tem-
perature due to cooling of the magma.

The discontinuous reaction series includes a lava (the foundation of intrusive and extrusive
group of mafic or ironemagnesium bearing igneous rock). The rock mass and its mineral
minerals: olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, and bio- components, like most other substances in na-
tite. These minerals react discontinuously to ture, reduce its volume and cracks (Figs 4.2
form the next mineral in the series. This means and 4.3) when cooled to ambient temperature.
that in the igneous magmas, each mineral will Such originally compact rock mass over time
change to the next mineral lower in the series breaks and separates into pieces of various sizes
as the temperature drops if there is enough silica and shapes such as plates, three-sided, four-
in the melt. The silica content increases in min- sided, five-sided or six-sided prisms, cube,
eral composition down the Bowen’s reaction sphere, or completely irregular bodies. This
series. joining of a cooling mass, both intrusive and
The continuous reaction series, on the right side extrusive, manifests remarkably distinguished
of the Bowen’s reaction series, represents the “columnar structure” in igneous rocks. It is
enrichment of calcium / sodium / potassium most commonly displayed in basalt (Fig. 4.4).
in plagioclases feldspar with decreasing temper- This cracking and separation must strictly be
ature. In the highest temperature, plagioclase has distinguished from cracks and crushing of rocks
only calcium (Ca) and in the lowest temperature, caused by tectonic movements. This breaking of
only sodium (Na). In between, these ions mix in rocks is especially significant feature of igneous
a continuous series from 100% Ca and 0% Na to rocks. It is characteristic only for such rocks,
0% Ca and 100% Na at the lowest temperature. and plays a decisive role in breaking and pro-
cessing stone.
4.1.3. Cooling of Magma after In equal intensity of cooling of large areas
(which takes place faster in shallow than in the
deeper parts of the igneous rock mass), rocks
The rock mass is still relatively high in tem- are separated in thinner or thicker plates due to
perature after the crystallization of magma or differential shrinkage. Rock mass cracks for

FIGURE 4.2 Conceptual development of six-sided prismatic cracks and joints (left) during cooling and crystallization of
magma and over time breaks and separates into distinct hexagonal prism (right).

FIGURE 4.4 Sectional view of the columnar structure

FIGURE 4.3 Plan view of the polygonal cracks and joints (cracks and joints) in lava basalt flow developed during
in basalt developed during cooling and crystallization of cooling and crystallization of magma, and separation over
magma at Albert Hill, Mumbai, India. time at Albert Hill, Mumbai, India.

every regular flat surfaces that enclose the The cracks can also be formed more or less
proper three-, four-, five- and six-sided prisms. regular cube or parallelepiped during slow cool-
As a result, the prismatic polygonal bodies ing and slow crystallization of igneous magma.
appear with diameter of several centimeters to The rocks can be separated into spherical shapes
several decimeters, and the length of few deci- in irregular cooling. It can be separated in
meters to 10 m (Fig. 4.2). sharply angular bodies of irregular shapes if

the rock mass (magma) is cooled from different the processes of change and weathering of
directions at different speeds. biotite, pyroxene and amphibole), sericite
(created by the processes of change and weath-
ering of feldspar), serpentine (created by the
4.2. CLASSIFICATION OF processes of hydrothermal modification of
IGNEOUS ROCKS olivine), etc.
An important feature of the mineral constitu-
Igneous rocks are classified according to ents of igneous rocks is their color as a result of
mode of formation and mineralogy (chemical the content, usually isomorphic inserted iron.
composition). Mineral composition plays a key The different colors are described as leucocratic
role in the distribution of igneous rocks. The (light color due to low content of ferromagnesian
mineral ingredients of igneous rocks are desig- minerals) and melanocratic (dark color contain-
nated as major, important, minor (accessory) ing 60e100% ferromagnesian minerals).
and secondary, according to their proportional Leucocratic minerals are colorless or white,
significance in the composition of the rocks. such as feldspar, quartz, muscovite and feldspa-
Major mineral ingredients are those by which thoids. The rocks consist mainly of them and are
the rocks are classified. These are essential min- characterized by bright and light shades of gray,
erals for the rock, and which makes them such as the granites and granodiorites.
different from others. For example, quartz, pot- Melanocratic or ferromagnesian minerals are
ash feldspar and biotite are essential compo- green, dark green or completely black color
nents of granite and without any of those due to greater or lesser amounts of isomorphic
minerals, the rocks would no longer be desig- iron (especially Fe2þ) (Sections and
nated as granite. This group of minerals includes
Important mineral constituents of a rock are olivine, pyroxenes, amphibole, biotite, etc. The
those by which a special name is assigned to rocks are mostly composed of ferromagnesian
the rock, as for instance, the olivine in gabbro, minerals showing dark green to black colors,
nepheline in syenite, etc. Gabbro contains plagio- such as gabbro, dunite, peridotite and pyroxe-
clase and pyroxene, and with them may, but nites (Table 4.1).
need not contain olivine. If gabbro contains Chemical composition of rocks is determined
olivine, then it is olivine gabbro and olivine is and expressed with oxide content of main
its important ingredient. chemical elements, i.e. the content of SiO2,
Minor (accessory) mineral ingredients are not FeO, Fe2O3, Al2O3, CaO, MgO, K2O, Na2O,
important or relevant to the rock in which they MnO, P2O5 and TiO2. The content of silicon di-
are associated. The amount is small, typically oxide (SiO2) in the rock is one of the most signif-
<1% and it may but need not be the essential in- icant chemical characteristics of igneous rocks.
gredients of the rocks. For example, zircon and The amount of SiO2, which varies from 35% to
rutile are minor minerals in granite. 80%, defines the rock as “acid”. The terms
Secondary minerals do not occur during the “acid” and “basic” do not apply on the
formation of the parent rock, rather later hydrogen ion concentration (pHdused by
introduced or substituted during the weath- chemists), but only on the chemistry of rocks
ering process or changes in the primary or orig- and the proportion of SiO2 with respect to the
inal mineral constituents of the rock. The most total oxide content of the above-mentioned
common secondary minerals are kaolinite chemical elements.
(created by the processes of change and chemi- “Acid” igneous rocks, i.e. the amount of sili-
cal weathering of feldspar), chlorite (created by con dioxide (SiO2) in their chemical composition,
TABLE 4.1 Mineral Composition of Major Igneous Rocks

Intrusive Rocks Extrusive Rocks Main Minerals

Felsic Granite Rhyolite Quartz 20e40% Kefeldspar > Naeplagioclase and mica
Adamellite Dellenite Quartz, Kefeldspar ¼ Naeplagioclase
Grandiorite Dacite Quartz 10e30%, Naeplagioclase þ NaeCa
plagioclase > Kefeldspar, biotite and hornblende
Tonalite and Dacite Quartz, Naeplagioclase þ NaeCaeplagioclase >
quartz diorite Kefeldspar, biotite and hornflende
Intermediate Monzite Latite Quartz, Kefeldspar ¼ Naeplagioclase biotite, hornblende
and pyroxene
Diorite Andesite Naeplagioclase and NaeCaeplagioclase 60e80%,
amphibole and pyroxene
Syenite Trachyte Kefeldspar 60e80%, NaeCa plagioclase, hornblende,
biotite, pyroxene and riebeckite
Nephelene Phonolite Nepheline, leucite, aegirine, Kefeldspar, riebeckite, biotite,
syenite pyroxene and arfvedsonite
Mafic Gabbro Basalt diabase Caeplagioclase (40e70%) pyroxene (augite, hypersthene),
spilite small quantities of hornblende and biotite, with or without
Norite Basalt Caeplagioclase, pyroxene (hypersthene) with or without
Anorthosite Caeplagioclase (90e100%) with pyroxene, ilmenite,
magnetite (0e10%)  olivine
Ultramafic Peridotite Olivine, one or more pyroxene
Dunite Mostly Mgeolivine with little pyroxene
Lherzolite Olivine, bronchite, and dialage

Serpentine Serpentine derived from olivine

Pyroxenite Monoclinic pyroxene (augite, diopside, and dialage)

are a direct consequence of their mineral compo- the rock that does not contain quartz or NaeCa
sition. It is higher as the rock contains more free and Ca plagioclase.
quartz and/or more silicate minerals rich in sil- The best example of “acidity” is minerals from
ica. The igneous rock that contains more free isomorphic series of plagioclase: in pure acid
quartz, more K-feldspar and Na-plagioclase; plagioclase, i.e. albite (NaAlSi3O8), in each SiO4
within the SiO4-tetrahedra isomorphic, one Si4þ tetrahedron, only one Si3þ ion is replaced with
ion is replaced with Al3þ ion. Such rock has in an Al3þ ion and in pure basic plagioclase, i.e.
its chemical composition higher content of anortite (CaAl2Si2O8) in all the SiO4 tetrahedra
SiO2, and a higher degree of “acidity” unlike is replaced by two Si4þ ions with two Al3þ

ions. The chemical composition of albite contains 4.2.1. Forms of Appearance and
68.68% SiO2, and anortite only 43.16% SiO2. Structure of the Intrusive (Plutonic)
The igneous rocks are divided into four types Igneous Rocks
according to the content of SiO2 in the chemical
composition: Forms of Intrusive (Plutonic)
Igneous Rocks
1. Acid igneous rocks in general contain >63% It is established that most of the intrusive
SiO2. Acid igneous rocks, with K feldspar, igneous rocks are formed by cooling and crystal-
also contain acid plagioclase and mineral lization of magma at depths of 1.5e20 km.
quartz. Slow cooling of magma, deep in the litho-
2. Neutral igneous rocks usually contain sphere, under the surface of the Earth, created
w52e63% SiO2. Neutral igneous rocks a huge body of igneous intrusive rocks of irreg-
contain neutral plagioclase and do not contain ular shape, whose propagation is several thou-
quartz. sand kilometers with an unknown base in
3. Basic or Mafic igneous rocks, by and large, depth. Such massive intrusive bodies are called
contain 45e52% SiO2. Basic igneous rocks batholiths (Fig. 4.5). There are often smaller or
contain basic plagioclase and ferromagnesian larger enclaves, xenoliths of surrounding rocks
minerals (pyroxene, amphibole and olivine), at the edges of batholith, which are incorpo-
which are poor in silica. rated in the magma and partially altered or
4. Ultrabasic or Ultramafic igneous rocks completely metamorphosed under the influ-
normally contain <45% SiO2. Ultramafic ence of high-temperature fluids from the
igneous rocks do not contain plagioclase, but magma.
contain only ferromagnesian minerals, i.e. Stocks are smaller irregular bodies with 10 km
minerals rich in iron and magnesium, and low in maximum dimension, and are associated with
in silica. the batholiths.

FIGURE 4.5 Conceptual diagram showing the major forms of igneous rocks such as batholiths, lopolith, xenolith, laccolith,
sill, dyke, stock, volcano, volcanic neck and lava flow.
Round and irregular intrusive body of larger of rock, and it depends on the speed and degree
size is known as massive. The batholith, stock of crystallization of magma, lava, pneuma (gases
and massive, occurs by crystallization in the and vapors) and the hot solution.
depths of lithosphere, can reach on the Earth’s A large intrusive body (batholite) takes many
surface by variety of tectonic movements, hundreds of thousands or even millions of years
erosion and denudation processes. The batho- due to slow cooling and slow crystallization. As
liths, stocks and massive of granodiorite, diorite, a consequence, the large intrusive rocks are char-
peridotite, gabbro and granite are often found on acterized by a high degree of crystallinity. Most
the Earth’s surface or at shallow depth. mineral ingredients in slow cooling of magma
Magma, at movement and penetration and complete crystallization take the form of mi-
through the lithosphere, can be injected into the nor or major crystalline grains (Fig. 4.6). This is
surrounding sedimentary rock layers, and unlike to amorphous mass often formed under
thereby raising the layers above it, so that creates rapid cooling of lava at the surface.
a smaller igneous body. The newly created body The intrusive rocks contain smaller or larger
has shape like dome or mushroom and is well mineral grains, i.e. the mineral ingredients are
known as laccolith. The length of laccolith usually all fully crystallized. Therefore, the intrusive
does not exceed a few hundred meters to several rocks are principally holocrystalline. The rocks
kilometers, similar to the lopolith, which is show a granular texture (Fig. 4.6). The character-
smaller, lenticular in shape with a depressed cen- istic texture of the individual grains, all or most
tral region (Fig. 4.5). mineral constituent, has equal size of crystalline
grains (Fig. 4.6(A)). The grain size and degree of Textures of Intrusive (Plutonic) crystallinity of mineral grains are a direct conse-
Igneous Rocks quence of the cooling rate, size, viscosity and
chemistry of magma and magmatic body.
The intrusive (plutonic) and extrusive (volca-
The rock can be designated, according to the
nic) igneous rocks have mutually and clearly
size of crystals and grains as the following:
different structure. The texture of the igneous
rocks involves the size, relationship, arrange- 1. Macrocrystalline (crystals visible to the
ment and shape of certain mineral constituents naked eye)

FIGURE 4.6 Typical textures of intrusive igneous rocks: (A) granite with hypidiomorphic (greater proportion of subhedral
crystal forms) and characteristic granular texture, and (B) gabbro texture showing large plagioclase embedded in fine matrix
of ferromagnesian minerals.

2. Microcrystalline (crystals visible to the Aphanite or aphanitic grain sizes are essen-
microscope) tially so fine that their component mineral crys-
3. Cryptocrystalline (crystals visible only in tals are not detectable by the unaided eye. This
large microscopic increments). texture results from rapid cooling of igneous vol-
Given the form of minerals, crystal in rocks canic or extrusive surface and shallow-surface
can develop in its following forms: environment. Aphanites are often porphyritic
having large crystals embedded in fine-grained
1. Ideal, i.e. idiomorphic or euhedral crystalline groundmass such as andesite, basalt, dacite,
forms. and rhyolite.
2. Only partially proper, i.e. hipidiomorphic or
subhedral forms. Shapes and Structures of Veins
3. Completely improper, i.e. alotriomorphic or Igneous Rocks
xenomorphic forms. At the end of magmatic crystallization, i.e.
A special type of macrocrystalline grain is pegmatite and pneumatolytic stage of crystalliza-
porphyritic texture that is characterized by tion, often magma penetrates into cracks in sur-
extremely coarse-grained K-feldspar (pheno- rounding rocks of stony crust and crystallize in
crysts) in relation to other macrocrystalline in- the form of thin plates (dykes or sills) (Fig. 4.5).
gredients (Figs 4.18, 4.25 and 4.40). These are igneous rocks known as the veins rocks
The degree of crystallinity is higher as the (Table 4.1). If the magma in pegmatite or pneu-
cooling of magma is slower, and forms of crys- matolytic phase of crystallization is pushed par-
tals indicate the environment in which the crys- allel in-between layers, it forms igneous body
tals are formed. with the shape of saucer. It is known by the
Idiomorphic crystals form under conditions of name sill or concordant intrusive sheet (Fig. 4.5).
slow cooling of slightly viscous magma with An important textural feature of the veins
enough space for the growth of each mineral. rock (aplite, pegmatites and lamprophyre, Table
Alotriomorphic crystals form when their 4.1) is holocrystalline and microcrystalline in
growth has lack of space, because at the same aplite and lamprophyre, macrocrystalline in peg-
time in a small space crystallizes a number of matites and often with some giant crystal of
mineral ingredients. diameter up to several meters (Section 4.3.3).
All these features allow the recognition of
igneous rocks conditions, in which the rocks 4.2.2. Forms of Appearance and
occurred with regard to the place of origin, cool- Structure of the Extrusive (Volcanic)
ing rate, viscosity of magma as well as other con- Igneous Rocks
ditions of crystallization.
The shapes of crystals in intrusive rocks are of Forms of Extrusive Igneous Rocks
different varieties and different textures: hipidio- The magma gradually, but relatively fast,
morphic, idiomorphic and alotriomorphic. cools with increasing viscosity due to loss of
Phaneritic grain sizes are large enough to be steam and gases in its movement toward the
visible and distinguished with the unaided eye. Earth’s surface. This process particularly acceler-
This texture forms by slow cooling of magma ates in sudden outbursts of lava and in explosive
deep underground from Earth surface in the eruptions at the volcano, causing a sudden solid-
intrusive or plutonic environment. The texture ification of lava in the form of volcanic glass.
may also be applied to metamorphic rocks. Extrusive igneous rocks usually occur in the
Examples of phaneritic igneous rocks are diorite, form of cup, plate and basin of volcanic lava
gabbro and granite. (Fig. 4.5).
Volcanic necks are product of an old volcanic groundmass resulting from a sudden solidifica-
rim composed of several layers (outflow) of so- tion of rest of the magma after eruption. This is
lidified lava. This occurs when the acidic, highly the basic texture feature of the porphyritic igneous
viscous and therefore poorly mobile lava solid- rocks (Fig. 4.7).
ifies around volcanic crater forming a conical The characteristic textural feature of the intru-
hill or dome. Volcanic plate or lava cover pre- sive rocks is essentially holocrystalline which
sents body of large propagation and relatively means that all the mineral ingredients are crys-
small thickness, formed in spout or outbursts tallized with the most equal size crystals. In
of low viscous voluble lava on a large area contrast, the extrusive rocks are characterized
around the volcano. Basin (flow) of lava is by two generations of mineral: initial crystalliza-
formed by cooling lava flows like a fiery river tion of phenocrysts and later fine-grained or
poured down the slopes of the volcano (Fig. 4.5). glassy matrix. Both the groups of minerals differ
Volcanic rock also forms by outpourings of in size.
lava on the seabed typically within the volcanic Porphyritic texture is characterized by single
mass. The pulsating pouring of lava and mixing large crystals or phenocrysts and fine-grained
with seawater create spherical or cushion matrix, which is partly glassy containing tiny
shape-structure and known as “pillow lavas”. crystals (Fig. 4.7).
Glassy or vitreous texture is created by sud- Textures of Extrusive den cooling and solidification of lava on Earth’s
Igneous Rocks surface in the form of amorphous volcanic glass
The effusive lava cools rapidly after the erup- with or without a few tiny crystals or crystallites
tion on the surface or ocean floor. The initial of different embryos, sometimes dendritic forms.
high-temperature crystallization of some minerals The examples of glassy or vitreous volcanic
includes olivine, pyroxene, Ca/Na plagioclase, rocks are obsidian and pumice.
sanidine, leucite, nepheline and cristobalite. Special types of textures are diabase or ophite
These minerals in volcanic rocks are represented and intersertal (similar to intergranular) texture.
by properly developed crystals of phenocrysts Diabase or ophite texture is typical of the basic
embedded in vitreous, microcrystalline veins rocks. Diabase and ophite (altered diabase)

FIGURE 4.7 Typical textures of extrusive igneous rocks: (A) porphyritic texture distinguished by single large crystals
(phenocrysts) embedded in partly glassy fine-grained matrix as in granite, (B) intersertal texture having stick-like plagioclase
floating in fine-grained matrix as in spilite (oceanic basalt).

are characterized by unoriented stick-like plagio- 4.3.1. Mineral Composition of Intrusive

clase in their interstices irregular grains of augite Igneous Rocks
or diopside.
Intersertal texture is most common in spilite The most common and best-known intrusive
that instead of augite or diopside in interstices igneous rocks (Table 4.1) are the following:
of stick-like plagioclase containing glassy pri-
mary mass (Fig. 4.7(B)). The rocks which have 1. Granites and granodiorites from the felsic
diabase and intersertal texture are especially group.
tough, with high compressive strength and 2. Diorite and syenite from the intermediate
high resistance to impact and abrasion. The group.
texture becomes hyalopilitic if the basic glassy 3. Gabbro, norite and anorthosite from the mafic
mass distinctly prevails over the tiny needle- group.
like phenocrysts of plagioclase. 4. Peridotite (dunite, lercolites and serpentinites)
Many volcanic rocks are extremely porous from ultramafic group.
with the presence of numerous gas and vapor
bubbles in the lava. Pumice texture is character- The less widespread intrusive igneous rocks
ized by great porosity and melaphire containing are adamellite and quartz diorite (felsic intru-
numerous spherical cavity formed by gas sive), alkali syenite (intermediate intrusive), nor-
bubbles, that are subsequently partially or ites (mafic intrusive) and pyroxenites (ultramafic
completely filled with crystallized minerals intrusive).
(calcite, prehnite and chlorite). The volcanic
rocks with pumice texture resemble foam-like
silica-rich volcanic glass of low density, so that
it floats on water.
4.3. MAIN GROUP OF IGNEOUS Felsic igneous rocks refer to light-color, low-
ROCKS AND THEIR COMPOSITION specific gravity and high-silicate minerals, magma
and rocks. The most common felsic minerals are
The crystallization of magma differs with quartz, orthoclase and sodium-rich plagioclase
respect to cooling and solidification deep in feldspar and muscovite. The common felsic rocks
the lithosphere or on the earth’s surface. The are granite and rhyolite containing þ63% SiO2.
intrusive, extrusive (volcanic) and veins igneous Intermediate igneous rocks contain SiO2 be-
rocks form from magma injected into cracks of tween 52% and 63% with common examples of
rocks (Fig. 4.5). The acidic, neutral and basic vol- andesite and dacite.
canic magma may erupt and pour on the Earth Mafic or basic igneous rocks have low silica
surface as extrusive rocks. The intrusive rocks between (45% and 52% SiO2) and typically
have their extrusive equivalent. The intrusive composed of minerals with high iron and mag-
rocks and their extrusive equivalents have nesium content such as pyroxene and olivine. The
similar mineral assemblages because of similar most common rocks are gabbro and basalt.
primary chemical composition. But the textures Ultramafic or ultrabasic igneous rocks contain
vary widely due to different crystallization con- <45% SiO2, >18% MgO, high FeO, low potassium
dition. Ultramafic magmas that are character- and generally þ90% mafic minerals. The common
istic of the deep sea have their extrusive rocks are dunite, peridotite and pyroxenite.
4.3. MAIN GROUP OF IGNEOUS ROCKS AND THEIR COMPOSITION 105 Felsic Intrusive Igneous Rocks forms) and typically granular texture
Granites and granitoids family viz. alkali- (Fig. 4.6(A)). The grain size varies between fine
feldspar granites, granites, quartz-monzonite, (Figs 4.10 and 4.11), medium and coarse. The
diorite/quartz-diorite/granodiorite, syenite rare and coarse porphyritic (large crystals or
and tonalities, are the most abundant rocks that phenocryst floating in a fine-grained ground-
constitute the upper crust of the continental mass) texture is presented by extremely large
areas. Granites are generally formed as “batho- crystals of K-feldspar, compared to other min-
liths” at great depth and when exposed by erals. Granite that contains large K-feldspar
erosion or other tectonic activity, these rocks grains of spherical shape, pink or reddish color
occupy huge areas of the Earth’s surface, often is known as porphyritic granite and rapakivi
as series of domes (Fig. 4.8) and valleys. The cen- (large rounded crystals of orthoclase/oligoclase
tral cores of major mountain ranges consist of feldspar) granite (Figs 4.12 and 4.13). The gran-
intrusive igneous rocks, usually granites. ites are usually fine to coarse grained, but
Granite landform changes slowly by physical occasionally as large lens shape enclaves (pheno-
and chemical weathering. A typical style of cryst) of mineral grains or mineral aggregates or
weathering produces smoothly curved irregular older rocks embedded in fine-grained granitic
to rounded shapes of boulders. These boulders groundmass (Fig. 4.14). These phenocrysts are
of granite often sit on smooth bare rock surfaces partially ganitized with mineral aggregates of
giving a mystic landscape (Fig. 4.9). feldspar, quartz, biotite and amphiboles.
Granites have many contrast colors ranging The most essential mineral constituents of
between white, gray, black, and pink to red. granite are 20e40% quartz, 50e80% K-feldspar
Granites are intrusive felsic rocks (from the Latin (orthoclase and/or microcline and pertite), Na-
“granum” means “grain”) usually hypidiomor- plagioclase and micas, mainly biotite and rare
phic (greater proportion of subhedral crystal muscovite (Table 4.1). Pertite is an intergrowth

FIGURE 4.8 View of granite monolith “Half-Dome”, 2693 m elevation, from Glassier Point, Yosemite National Park, East
California and is a part of Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The impression from the valley floor implies that this is a round
dome which has lost its northwest half in an illusion. Source: Soumi.

FIGURE 4.9 Smooth irregular granite boulders (top), product of typical weathering, present a scenic landscape near
ancient city of Aswan, southeastern Egypt rising through the blue water of River Nile.

FIGURE 4.10 Fine-grained granite composed of quartz, FIGURE 4.11 Photomicrograph of thin section of sub-
potassium/plagioclase feldspar and biotite  amphibole hedral fine-grained aplitic variety of granite composed of
from Aswan granite quarry, south-central Egypt. feldspar (white), quartz (sky blue) and ilmenite (opaque).
Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.

of albite or oligoclase with a microcline/ortho- pale gray or pink, depending on the color of feld-
clase host. The granite may even contain small spars, for example, presence of pink microcline
amounts of hornblende and augite with the granite looks pink. It occurs mostly in the form
main ingredients and as accessory ingredients of huge batholiths, stock, but rarely laccolith
of apatite, ilmenite, hematite, rutile, zircon, and (Fig. 4.5).
tourmaline. Granites contain little ferromagne- Feldspar dominates the granite composition
sian minerals (biotite, hornblende, and augite). and is easily recognized by its appearance, co-
Granites are largely leucocratic rocks, usually lor and cleavages. Quartz is typically anhedral

FIGURE 4.12 Coarse-grained porphyritic granite FIGURE 4.14 Large lensoidal enclave (phenocryst) of
composed of quartz, potassium/plagioclase feldspar and older rocks embedded in fine-grained granitic groundmass.
biotite  amphibole from Aswan granite quarry, south- The phenocryst, in turn, is partially ganitized with mineral
central Egypt. The coarse feldspar grains are in the initial aggregates of potassium feldspar, quartz, biotite and am-
stage of linear alignment as in gneissic texture. phiboles, Aswan quarry, south-central Egypt.

hornblende are distinguished by flaky black

and silver color, and black/dark-green grains/
prisms characteristics.
The builders and architects are often wrongly
designates all the grain intrusive igneous rocks,
especially the granodiorite, diorite and gabbro by
the name “granite”. The granite, granodiorite, dio-
rite and gabbro are petrologically defined funda-
mentally with mineral composition as shown in
Table 4.1. The common uses of granite are as build-
ing and decorative stones, tiles, kitchen counter,
ancient and modern sculptures (Fig. 4.15), engi-
neering, curling and rock climbing.
Adamellite (named after the town Adamello in
FIGURE 4.13 Photomicrograph of thin section of Tyrol) is a felsic intrusive igneous rock with hipi-
porphyritic granite showing deformed plagioclase lamellae diomorphic texture similar to quartz monzonite
in uncontaminated granite. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.
(monzonite with some quartz). It is medium- to
coarse-grained rock with color varying typically
(ill-formed crystals), and occurs as filling the in- between white, gray, pink, brown and bronze.
terstices between the other minerals masking its Adamellite is composed of approximately equal
own characteristic crystal shape. Quartz is gener- proportion of orthoclase and plagioclase feld-
ally colorless to smoky and identified by its spars, significant amount of quartz, biotite
glassiness, hardness, lack of cleavage, and and/or amphibole. It differs from granite and
conchoidal fracture. Biotite, muscovite and granodiorite that contain equal amount of

ferromagnesian minerals (biotite, hornblende,

and augite). Granodiorite is usually of light gray
color having large phaneritic crystal due to slow
cooling. The rock is most often used as crushed
stone for road building and occasionally as orna-
mental stone.
Tonalite (named by pass Tonale, Adamello
massif in Tirol) is a felsic igneous plutonic rock
with phaneritic texture and special variety of
granodiorite in turn to diorite. It is composed
of quartz, biotite and plagioclase (andesine or
oligoclase). The share of Kefeldspar, hornblende
and pyroxenes is very small and as accessory
minerals. Granodiorites and tonalities are found
independently or together with the granite in the
batholiths and stock.
Felsic intrusive rocks of granite, adamellite,
granodiorites and tonalities are widely used in
construction, as the crushed rock is particularly
of high quality. The fine grain varieties and pol-
ished slabs are used for massive structures. The
porphyritic granites and rapakivi granites that
contain large pink microcline are specially
appreciated. Intermediate Intrusive

Igneous Rocks
Monzonite is an intermediate igneous intru-
sive rock composed of approximately equal
amounts of Kefeldspars and Naeplagioclase
FIGURE 4.15 The Pillar of Pompey is monolithic red with minor amount of quartz (<5%) and ferro-
granite (from Aswan) column of 26.85 m high built in 297
magnesian minerals (hornblende, biotite and py-
AD commemorating the victory of Roman Emperor Dio-
cletian over an Alexandrian revolt, Egypt. roxene). The rock seldom hosts gold and silver
deposits, and uses as building stone for monu-
ments (The Mormon temple, Salt Lake City,
quartz, Kefeldspar, Naeplagioclase and Utah), and aids in mountaineering.
NaeCaeplagioclase. Adamellite rock seldom Diorite is an intermediate intrusive igneous
host for gold and silver deposits, primarily phanerites (large grain size) presenting hypidio-
used as building stone for monuments (The Mor- morphic (granular) to allotriomorphic (very
mon temple, Salt Lake City, Utah), and aid in large crystallographically continuous crystals)
mountaineering. texture with about 60e80% of the Naeplagio-
Granodiorite differs to granite by containing less clase, oligoclase and NaeCaeplagioclase and lit-
quartz (10e30%), more Naeplagioclase and tle or no quartz. It contains much more
Kefeldspar. Naeplagioclase is approximately ferromagnesian minerals than granite and
twice the K-feldspar in content. It also contains granodiorite. The ferromagnesian minerals
quantity. It contains much more ferromagnesian
minerals biotite and hornblende, and rare pyrox-
ene. The specific gravity varies with the constit-
uent minerals and their proportion ranging
between 2.6 and 2.8. Syenites are rare rocks
that appear in the small forms, usually on the
edges of the granite massif.
Alkali syenites are rich in alkaline minerals,
consisting of feldspathoids (nepheline and
leucite [K(AlSi2O6)]), alkali amphibole (riebeck-
ite and arfvedsonite), alkali pyroxene (aegirine
and aegirineeaugite) and Kefeldspars. It does
not contain quartz, and poor/no plagioclase.
The name alkali or nepheline syenite is assigned
FIGURE 4.16 Gray syenite contains predominantly of because of its chemical composition containing
alkaline feldspar (60e80%) and 20e40% hornblende and substantial amounts of alkali oxides Na2O and
biotite (black) with no or only negligible amount of quartz. K2O. Alkali syenite or nepheline and leucite sye-
nites are more common in nature than the
from the group of amphiboles (hornblende) and normal syenite. Syenite and alkali syenite crys-
biotite, and usually pyroxenes, present a gray to tallized from alkali-rich and silica-poor magma
dark gray color to diorite with bluish, greenish and are therefore not presented in Bowen’s series
and brownish tinge. Diorite represents a transi- of crystallization. Syenites possess better fire-
tional type between the granodiorite intrusive resistant qualities and are suitable for dimension
rocks and gabbro according to the mineral stone for building facings, foyers and aggregate
composition (Table 4.1). The different varieties in road industries.
of diorite are determined by color, coarseness
of grain, and mineral composition. Diorite is Mafic Intrusive Igneous Rocks
usually located on the edges of granite batholith Gabbro is mafic, intrusive, coarse-grained rock
or in the form of smaller massif. The common with allotriomorphic texture. Gabbros contain
uses are as aggregate, fill in construction and mainly ferromagnesian minerals and plagio-
road industries, cut and polished dimension clase, the amount of ferromagnesian minerals
stone for building facings and foyers, statue equaling or exceeding that of the plagioclase.
and vase made during ancient Inca, Mayan and Gabbros are plutonic rocks formed by cooling
Egyptian civilization. and crystallization of molten magma trapped
Syenite is a coarse-grained intermediate intru- under the Earth’s surface and chemically equiv-
sive igneous rock with pandiomorphic (euhedral alent to extrusive basalt. The ferromagnesian
crystals of same size) and hypidiomorphic (sub- minerals are pyroxene (diopside or diallage,
hedral crystals of equal size) texture. The color augite and hypersthene), hornblende, and
varies between white and gray or reddish. The olivine, occurring either together or singly. The
rock contains predominantly of Kefeldspar pyroxene in gabbros is mostly clinopyroxene
(60e80%, white, red or pink orthoclase) and (diopside and augite) with or without small
20e40% hornblende, biotite and pyroxene amounts of orthopyroxene (hypersthenes). The
(Fig. 4.16). The mineral composition and the feldspar in gabbros is chiefly calcic plagioclase,
texture resemble granite with only difference generally 50e60% labradorite [(Ca, Na)(Al,
that it does not contain quartz or a negligible Si)4O8], and also plagioclase composition of

FIGURE 4.18 Photomicrograph showing large deformed

plagioclase phenocryst embedded in finer matrix of ferro-
FIGURE 4.17 Gabbro is dark gray to greenish black color magnesian minerals in gabbro. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.
plutonic rock and chemically equivalent to volcanic basalt.
The rock mainly contains Caeplagioclase and ferromagne-
sian minerals such as pyroxene (augite and hypersthene or
diallage)  olivine. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.
Gabbro texture (Figs 4.6(B) and 4.18) is
formed by simultaneous long crystallization of
bright (leucocratic) and dark ferromagnesian
bytownite to anortite. Gabbros are mostly dark mineral ingredients, so deeply related to each
colored, ranging between dark gray and other, that gabbros are extremely solid and
greenish black because of the high proportion tough rocks. Gabbros appear as a densely homo-
of ferromagnesian minerals (Fig. 4.17). The rocks geneous rock often fairly the same texture and
are at the turn of diorite in peridotite and pyrox- composition throughout the rock mass. Gabbros
enes according to the mineral and chemical are greatly valued in the construction industries
composition (Fig. 4.1). Gabbro with olivine is as dimension stone, especially for sculptures and
called olivine gabbro. If olivine gabbro does tombstones (black granite) because of its high
not contain pyroxene and is primarily composed strength, toughness, dark color and excellent
of calcium plagioclase and olivine, it is known as polishing capabilities.
troctolite. The type of gabbro that contains pre- Dolerite and Diabase are both mafic igneous
dominantly orthorhombic pyroxene (hyper- rocks having same mineralogical composition,
sthene) and the Caeplagioclase is known as but differ in formation. The colors are frequently
norite. It may also contain some olivine, and dark gray, black and green. Dolerite is medium-
then it is olivine norite. grained (Fig. 4.19) intrusive equivalent of volca-
Plagioclases can undergo processes of saus- nic basalt or plutonic gabbro, and usually occurs
suritization with the interaction of hot solutions as dykes (Fig. 4.20), sill and plugs. Dolerite is
extensively change into a dense, compact heavy with specific gravity ranging between
mixture of zoisite, epidote, albite, quartz, musco- 2.9 and 3.3. Dolerite dykes are often exposed to
vite and actinolite to form “sosirite”. In similar the surface and exhibit as walls in straight line.
conditions, pyroxenes in uralitization processes Diabase is a subvolcanic rock equivalent to vol-
can be modified in dense clusters of actinolite canic basalt or plutonic gabbro. Diabase is sub-
minerals known as “uralite”. surface volcanic rock formed by injecting

FIGURE 4.19 Dolerite is a medium-grained mafic intru-

sive igneous rock composed primarily of plagioclase set in a
finer matrix of clinopyroxene  olivine, magnetite and FIGURE 4.21 Photomicrograph of thin section showing
ilmenite. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray. intersertal and intergranular texture of lath-shaped plagio-
clase of (labradorite, rarely bytownite) set in a finer matrix of
clinopyroxene in dolerite dyke. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.

diabase), magnetite and ilmenite (Fig. 4.21).

The accessory minerals are chlorine, uralite and
calcite. The rocks usually display intersertal
and intergranular texture. The coarse-grained
diabase with pyroxene specifically alter to uralite
(uralite diabase) and plagioclase from the labra-
dorite and oligoclase type, known as “ophite,”
which are characterized by a special structure
known as “ophite structure”. Dolerite and dia-
base rocks are used as crushed stone in road
making, concrete mixture in rough masonry,
and block paving and ornamental stone in
FIGURE 4.20 Massive fine-grained dolerite (dark gray monumental purposes.
color in the center) intruded in dolostone (buff color on Norite is a mafic intrusive igneous rock with
either side) as dyke cutting at steep angle. Photograph has color ranging between light to dark gray and
been taken from the underground zinc lead silver mine at brown. The rock is indistinguishable from gab-
Zawar Group, India.
bro, other than type of pyroxene under micro-
scope. The rock is composed of Ca-rich
gabbroic magma or lava as shallow dykes and plagioclase (labradorite), Mg-rich orthopyrox-
sills under the surface of the Earth. Diabase is ene/hypersthene (enstatite) and olivine. The
typically fine grained having chilled margin. rock occurs in close association of mafic gabbro
The main ingredients of dolerite and diabase and ultramafic layered intrusion igneous com-
are mafic lath-shaped plagioclase of about 60% plex, e.g. Bushveld (South Africa) and Stillwater
(labradorite and rarely bytownite) set in a finer (Montana, USA) with large platinum group of
matrix of clinopyroxene (typically 20e30% deposits, and layered igneous complex with
augite) and olivine (up to 10% in olivine large deposits of chromite at Sukinda and

FIGURE 4.22 Field photograph of coarse-grained light-

color Norite from footwall of open-pit chromite mine at FIGURE 4.23 Photograph of drill core (Norite) cutting
Boula-Nausahi layered igneous complex, Orissa, India. across the mafic and ultramafic layered igneous intrusive
complex, being explored for chromium and platinum group
of minerals at Boula-Nausahi, Orissa, India.
Nausahi (Figs 4.22 and 4.23), India The common
usages are ornamental facing, paving, graveyard
headstone at funerary rites and kitchen (90e100%), generally labradorite, and remaining
countertops. mafic components of pyroxene, magnetite,
Anorthosite is usually a coarse-grained intru- ilmenite (0e10%)  olivine (Fig. 4.24). The fine-
sive igneous rock with color varies between grained, nearly monomineral composition and
white, yellowish to brown, shades of gray, blush light color anorthosite resembles both marble
and smoky pigment. The rock is characterized by and quartzite in hand specimen. If the quantity
the predominance of plagioclase feldspar of pyroxene increases in anorthosite, the rock

FIGURE 4.24 Anorthosites is typically coarse-grained dark-color rock and composed primarily of plagioclase (labradorite)
with minor amount of pyroxene, magnetite and ilmenite  olivine. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.

FIGURE 4.25 Photomicrograph of thin section showing

large phenocryst of deformed plagioclase (labrodorite) in FIGURE 4.26 Modal plot for ultramafic members indi-
fine-grained pyroxene and plagioclase-rich groundmass in cating classification and nomenclature of hornblende bearing
massif Anorthosite. Source: Prof Arijit Ray. peridotites and pyroxinites. OL, olivine; PX, pyroxene; HBL,
hornblende. Source: Modified after Bose4.

grades into gabbro and vice-a-versa. The rock

can be identified with certainty under micro- intrusive complex hosting chromium, nickel,
scope with predominance of feldspar (labra- platinum and palladium  massive sulfides.
dorite) and texture (Fig. 4.25). It can be The categorization of ultramafic group of rocks
distinguished by hardness and presence of can be explained with “classification diagram
well-developed cleavages from quartzite and based on modal percentages of minerals like
marble, respectively. The principal modes of olivine, pyroxene and hornblende” (Fig. 4.26).
occurrence of anorthosite are either (1) as large Peridotite is the general name for the ultrabasic
independent intrusive mass or (2) as layers or ultramafic intrusive rocks, dark green to black
with variable thickness, as members of banded in color, dense and coarse-grained texture, often
or layered gabbro lopoliths. Anorthosite can be as layered igneous complex. It is composed of
a source for hosting titanium, aluminum, gem- ferromagnesian minerals (>40%), high propor-
stones, building material and scientific research tion of magnesium-rich olivine, both clinopyrox-
of similar composition of Moon, Mars, Venus enes and orthopyroxenes, hornblende, and
and meteorites. <45% silica (Figs 4.27 and 4.28). Regular second-
ary mineral ingredients are chromite, magnetite, Ultrabasic and Ultramafic Intrusive nickel, copper and platinum group of metals.
Igneous Rocks The rocks are composed of entirely single min-
Ultrabasic or Ultramafic igneous rocks contain eral or in combination of various proportions.
<45% SiO2, >18% MgO, high FeO, and low po- The components are branded on the basis of
tassium. The group of rocks, generally dark the minerals present such as peridotite, kimber-
colored, with high (þ90%) magnesium and iron lite, lherzolite, harzburgite, hornblendite, dunite,
bearing mafic minerals. The mode of occurrences and pyroxenite. Peridotite is the most dominant
of ultramafic rocks are commonly intrusive constituent of the upper part of the Earth’s
(dunite, peridotite and pyroxenite) and rarely mantle. A special variety of the peridotite is
as extrusive. The rocks occur as large layered kimberlite, composed predominantly of olivine,

phlogopite, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene,

in which a secondary valuable gem component
is diamonds (Section 2.5.1). Peridotites are
formed due to the low stability of olivine and
are very susceptible to changes, i.e. serpentiniza-
tion of olivine in the fibers and/or sheet clusters
of serpentine and monoclinic pyroxene (diallage)
in uralite at Urals region. In this way creates a
new rock “serpentinite” (Table 4.1). Layered
intrusive variety is most suitable host rock of
chromium, nickel, copper and platinumepalla-
dium ore bodies, and glassy green type as gem
and ornamental stones.
Lherzolite is a type of peridotite containing
idiomorphic developed olivine and equal share
of orthorhombic pyroxene bronzite (with irreg-
ular grains) and monoclinic pyroxene diallage.
Harzburgite is a type of peridotite with no or
FIGURE 4.27 Peridotite is a dense coarse-grained dark very little monoclinic pyroxene and consisting
green to black color intrusive rock, often layered, composed
primarily of ferromagnesian minerals (magnesium rich
only of olivine and orthorhombic pyroxene
olivine and pyroxene) and less of silica. Regular secondary bronzite.
mineral are chromite, magnetite, nickel, copper and plat- Dunite is a special type of peridotite family
inum group. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray. consisting almost entirely of magnesium-rich
olivine (þ90%) and very small amounts of chro-
mite, pyroxene and pyrope. Dunite is an igneous
plutonic rock of ultramafic composition with
coarse-grained granular or phaneritic texture
and often massive or layered. The color is usu-
ally light to dark green with pearly or greasy
look (Figs 4.29 and 4.30). Dunite is the olivine-
rich end member of the peridotite group of
mantle-derived magma/rock.
One variety of dunite is the end product of
differential cooling, crystallization and solidifi-
cation of hot molten ultramafic magma pro-
cessed in a huge chamber within the Earth and
develop layered igneous complex. The composi-
tion of layered igneous complex is often shared
by large presence of chromite  nickel, copper
and platinum group of ore deposits (Fig. 4.31).
Finely grounded dunite used as sequesters of
CO2 and mitigate global climate change, source
FIGURE 4.28 Photomicrograph of peridotite rock shows
intercumulus texture between olivine and clinopyroxene
of MgO as flux in metallurgical blast furnace, re-
(Cpx) resulting from the settling of a crystallizing magma. fractory and foundry applications, filtering me-
Source: Prof. Arijit Ray. dia and filler.

FIGURE 4.29 Dunite is typically coarse grain with light

to dark green color rock and consists almost entirely of FIGURE 4.31 Dumite, composed of alternate layers of
magnesium rich olivine with minor amount of chromite, olivine and chromite forming a part of the Sukinda layered
pyroxene and pyrope. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray. Igneous Complex, represent þ 90% of chromite resources
in India. The group of mines with production capacity of
w4 Mt/a is the second largest in the World after South Africa.

respectively. The accessory minerals are chro-

mite, magnetite, garnet, rutile and scapolite.
The rock is dense and coarse grained (Fig. 4.32)
with dark green, gray and brown color. Pyroxe-
nites are classified into clinopyroxenites, ortho-
pyroxenites, and the websterites which contain
both pyroxenes. Pyroxenites occur either as cu-
mulates at the base of the intrusive chamber or
as thin layers within peridotites and/or xeno-
liths in basalt. Pyroxenites are source of MgO
as flux in metallurgical blast furnace, refractory
and foundry applications, filtering media and
filler, building materials and sculptures and
often host deposits of CreNieCuePlatinum
FIGURE 4.30 Photomicrograph of thin section of dunite
composed entirely of olivine. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray. group of minerals.
Ophiolites or the ophiolite complex is the
general name for the community of mafic and
Pyroxenites are the ultramafic intrusive ultramafic intrusives (gabbro, peridotite, and
igneous rocks composed essentially of pyroxene pyroxenite), and extrusive igneous rocks
group of minerals, such as, augite and diopside, (spiliteekeratophyreebasalt) that originate
hypersthene, diallage, bronzite and enstatite. from the oceanic crust and mantle, and grey-
The absence of feldspar and olivine makes it wacke sandstone, shales and siliceous sedimen-
different from gabbro-norite and dunite, tary rocksdchert.

FIGURE 4.33 Field photograph of Rhyolite (bottom) and

volcaniclastic sediments (top) at Khnaiguiyah ZneCu de-
posit forms a part of Shalahib formations, Saudi Arabia.

FIGURE 4.32 Photomicrograph of thin section of coarse- very porous volcanic glass and full of unrelated
grained pyroxenite composed entirely by clinopyroxene.
Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.
gas bubbles are light and floats on the water,
known under the name of pumice, as shown in
Section 5.6.1.
4.3.2. Mineral Composition of Extrusive Rhyolite occurs in the form of volcanic plate
Igneous Rocks and lava basin (Fig. 4.33) with relatively large
thickness and small propagation due to the
The most common extrusive igneous rocks high viscosity and low capacity of lava flow.
are rhyolite and dacite (felsic), andesite and Rhyolite is suitable as aggregate, fill-in construc-
trachyte (intermediate), basalt and diabase tion, building material and road industries,
(mafic) and spilite (plagioclase-rich rocks occur decorative rock in landscaping, cutting tool,
in changes and albitization of basalt). abrasive and jewelry. Felsic Extrusive Igneous Rocks
Rhyolite is extrusive equivalent of granite
magma. It is composed predominantly of quartz, Sanidine is the high-temperature form of po-
Kefeldspar and biotite. It may have any texture tassium feldspar (K,Na) (Si,Al)4Os with mono-
from glassy, aphanitic, porphyritic, and by the clinic crystal system and vitreous-pearly luster.
orientation of small crystals reflecting the lava Sanidine occurs most typically in felsic volcanic
flow. There is distinct porphyritic texture charac- rocks such as rhyolite, trachyte and obsidian.
terized by sanidine and rare quartz, plagioclase
and biotite.
The various types of rhyolites are of gray,
bluish gray or pink color with vitreous texture Dacite is an extrusive equivalent of grano-
and individual spherical aggregates of feldspar diorite magma, along with quartz, more
and a number of concentrically arranged and Naeplagioclase than Kefeldspar and more
spiral cracks, known under the name of perlite. ferromagnesian minerals (biotite, amphibole,
The gray, black or pink, porous volcanic glass and augite) than rhyolite. Dacite is gray to dark
without phenocrysts are called obsidian, and gray color. It has a distinct porphyritic texture

FIGURE 4.35 Porphyritic texture of trachyte with sani-

FIGURE 4.34 Dacite with sanidine (high-temperature dine phenocrysts.
form of potassium feldspar (K,Na)(Si,Al)4O8) phenocrysts in
sanidine dacite.

Andesite is the extrusive equivalent of diorite

with large felsic plagioclase (oligoclase), improp- magma characterized by holocrystalline and
erly damaged by quartz and rare sanidine in often porphyritic texture. It contains grains of
glassy groundmass. A special type of dacite is NaeCaeplagioclase and hornblende in holo-
sanidine dacite (Fig. 4.34) containing large sani- crystalline groundmass. Andesite is named after
dine phenocrysts, and in the mineral composi- “Andes,” the longest continental mountain
tion close to dellenite, i.e. a transitional range in the World, where large volume of lava
extrusive type from rhyolite to dacite (Table 4.1). with such mineral composition exists. Andesite
Dellenite is the extrusive equivalent of adamel- is most widespread extrusive rocks after basalt.
lite and quartz monzonite, with 5e20% quartz, The hornblende andesites usually contain ferro-
equal amounts of Kefeldspar and Naeplagio- magnesian minerals (biotite and pyroxene).
clase with NaeCaeplagioclase. Dacite is a rela- Hydrothermally altered andesite (and dacite) is
tively rarely represented extrusive rock. Dacite known as porphyrite (Table 4.1). Andesite is suit-
is suitable as aggregate, fill-in construction, build- able mainly for naturally slip-resistant tiles,
ing material and road industries, decorative rock bricks, water or landscape gardens, aggregates,
in landscaping, cutting tool, abrasive and jewelry. and fill-in construction.
Trachyte is the extrusive equivalent of syenite Intermediate Extrusive magma. The typical porphyry texture, known as
Igneous Rocks trachyte texture, is also characterized by sanidine
Latite is the extrusive equivalent of monzonite grains, and sometimes Naeplagioclase in the
(Table 4.1), characterized by the porphyry groundmass. It is composed of parallel arranged
texture. Latites are in fact andesite rich in tiny rod-like crystal sanidine within the glassy
Kefeldspar, and contains more than 10% matrix (Fig. 4.35). Geologically old trachyte that
Kefeldspar (sanidine and orthoclase). It has a occurred before the tertiary is known by the
lower amount of Kefeldspar compared to the to- old nomenclature as porphyry.
tal amount of feldspar in andesite. In some lat- Phonolite is the extrusive volcanic equivalent of
ites, there are smaller amounts of leucite. alkaline syenite magma. It is characterized by

relatively high content (>10%) feldspathoidse

nepheline and leucite. Phonolite is named after a
strong echo from the blows of a hammer (in Greek
“sounding stone”). Phonolite is a rare rock of in-
termediate chemical composition between felsic
and mafic, with texture ranging from aphanites
(fine-grain) to porphyritic (mixed fine- and
coarse-grain). The highly porphyritic texture is
characterized by large nepheline or leucite pheno-
crysts within a glassy or finely crystalline core
mass. The rock is named as nepheline phonolite
and leucite phonolite as per the predominance
of phenocrysts component.
FIGURE 4.36 Dark grayish black massive basalt showing Mafic Extrusive Igneous Rocks surface cavities filled up by secondary minerals and the rock
is designated as “amygdaloidal basalt”. Source: Prof. Arijit
Basalts are common aphanitic igneous extru-
sive (volcanic) rocks. Basalts are composed of min-
ute grains of plagioclase feldspar (generally
labradorite), pyroxene, olivine, biotite, horn- spheroidal shape on a larger scale in plutonic
blende and <20% quartz. Nepheline or leucite rocks. The process is accelerated by insolation ef-
may associate or proxy the feldspar giving rise to fect and repeated expansion (hot days) and
verities with special names. The ferromagnesian contraction (cold nights) causing stresses that
minerals are mainly amphibole and rarely biotite. lead to the weakening of ties between the min-
Basalts are usually dark gray to black color. eral, cracking and disintegration. It is also known
Basalts are formed by the rapid cooling of as onion skin or concentric weathering (Fig. 4.37).
basaltic lava, equivalent to gabbro-norite Basalts show, almost always, aphanitic or fine-
magma, from interior of the crust and exposed grained mineral texture resulting from rapid cool-
at or very close to the surface of Earth. These ing of volcanic magma on or close to surface of
basalt flows are quite thick and extensive, in Earth. The component minerals are so fine that
which gas cavities are almost absent. In case of they are not identifiable by the unaided eye. The
thin and irregular lava flows, gas cavities are texture can sometimes be porphyritic containing
formed on the rock surface. The rock is called “ve- the larger crystals formed prior to the eruption,
sicular” basalt when the gas cavities are empty. that brought the lava to the surface, and
The majority of the gas cavities are filled up by embedded in a fine-grained matrix. Glomeropor-
secondary minerals (zeolites, calcite, quartz, or phyritic is the extension to describe porphyritic
chalcedony) and amygdales are formed. The texture in which phenocrysts of plagioclase and
rock containing such filled-up gas cavities is pyroxenes are clustered into aggregates and
called “amygdaloidal” basalt (Fig. 4.36). settled in groundmass due to surface tension
Outcrops of basaltic lava flow are easily sus- (Fig. 4.38). Glomeroporphyritic textures are partic-
ceptible to mechanical and chemical weathering ularly common in basalt, andesites and dacites.
by penetration of groundwater along the polyg- Tholeiitic basalts are the most common erup-
onal joints (Fig. 4.37) and fractures, loosening tive rocks produced by submarine volcanism
and decaying the rock layer by layer. The surface from tholeiitic magma series, forming much of
of weathering grows more and more rounded as the ocean crust and mid-oceanic ridges. The
the process progresses into blocks resembling tholeiitic magma is relatively rich in silica and

FIGURE 4.38 Photomicrograph of thin section showing

glomeroporphyritic texture defined by plagioclase and cli-
nopyroxene grains embedded in fine-grained groundmass of
porphyritic basalt. Source: Prof. Arijit Ray.

FIGURE 4.37 “Spheroidal” or “onion-skin” or “concen-

tric weathering” caused by penetration of groundwater
along the polygonal joints and fractures, loosening and
decaying the rock layer by layer in basaltic lava flow over
sustained periods. The process is accelerated by insolation
effect by repeated expansion (hot days) and contraction (cold
nights) causing stresses that lead to the weakening of ties
between the mineral, cracking and disintegration at Albert
Hill. Mumbai, India.

poor in sodium. The rock is composed of clino-

pyroxene, hypersthenes and plagioclase with
minor ironetitanium oxide, and olivine.
Tholeiitic basalt often represents a fine, glassy
FIGURE 4.39 Photomicrograph of thin section showing
groundmass consisting of fine-grained quartz plagioclase phenocrysts in tholeiitic basalt flow. Source: Prof.
and other main constituent minerals. Tholeiitic Arijit Ray.
basalt has fine-porphyritic texture, which is char-
acterized by pyroxene/plagioclase phenocrysts and phlogopite (magnesium mica) in the
(Fig. 4.39) in fine glassy groundmass. groundmass. Alkali basalts are typically found
Alkali basalt is a fine-grained dark color volca- on up-domed and rifted continental crust, and
nic rock composed of phenocrysts of olivine, tita- on oceanic islands such as Hawaii Island, in the
nium rich and iron oxides (Fig. 4.40). Alkali North Pacific Ocean.
basalt is relatively poor in silica and rich in so- The basalt is compact, rough and tough, abun-
dium. It is silica unsaturated and contains feld- dant and widely distributer rock. The most com-
spathoids (nepheline, leucite), alkali feldspar mon uses are as construction materials (building

with intrusive and sometimes extrusive igneous

rocks or as veins found in metamorphic and
some sedimentary rocks (Fig. 4.5). They are clas-
sified as aplite, pegmatite and lamprophyre.
Aplites are the fine-grain equivalent of granite
and composed only of quartz and alkali feldspar,
and very small amounts of muscovite and bio-
tite. They are mostly fine grain, white to light
gray. They are found only in felsic intrusives
like granites and granodiorites.
Pegmatites are veins rocks, white to pale gray
or pink color and are composed of very large
crystals of quartz, feldspar (feldspar, microcline,
and rarely oligoclase) and muscovite. Pegmatites
FIGURE 4.40 Photomicrograph of thin section showing sometimes include the immense size of the crys-
zoning in olivine phenocryst settled in the fine-grained tals up to several meters long. In addition to
groundmass in alkali basalt. Source: Prof. Arijit ray. these essential minerals, pegmatites regularly
contain many other, often economically impor-
blocks, flooring titles and aggregates, road sur- tant, minerals such as beryl, monazite, uraninite,
face and railway track), cobblestone in pavement fluorite, molybdenite, apatite, wolframite, and
(columnar variety), architecture, statues, and many others. It occurs, most often, in the form
stoneewool fiber as excellent thermal insulator. of veins located in the felsic intrusives of granites
Spilite is the sodium-rich volcanic rock formed and granodiorites, and in metamorphic rocks of
by turning basalt and/or diabase in albitization gneisses.
processes at low temperatures in the presence Lamprophyre is the veins rock, dark gray
of CO2 and water rich in sodium (e.g. seawater). to black in color. The rock consists of ferromag-
So, albite in the spilite is not caused by crystalli- nesian minerals such as biotite, amphibole,
zation of lava rather than secondary processes of pyroxenes, and rarely olivine. The share of leuco-
Caeplagioclase. The minerals albite and pyrox- cratic (white or colorless) minerals is small, typi-
enes are transformed into green minerals such cally found only a few tiny grains of feldspar.
as chlorites, uralite and epidote with the conver- They are found in intrusive and extrusive rocks
sion of Caeplagioclase in the Naeplagioclase. formed from syenite magma.
The green color of spilites is the effect of the
newly formed minerals. They have intersertal
texturedtypically microcrystalline. Spilite is FURTHER READING
usually found in submarine lava effusion in
cushioned forms, i.e. as a “pillow-lava”. Igneous Petrology by Bose4 and Taider et al.46
will be an initial reading for beginners in the sub-
ject. Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic
4.3.3. Veins Igneous Rocks Petrology by Winter63, Igneous Petrogenesis by
Veins igneous rocks, unlike other igneous Huges26 and Wilson62 will be an excellent
rocks, never appear alone but are associated reading in the subject with much greater details.

Sedimentary Rocks

5.1. Function, Significance, Classification 5.4. Classification of Sediments

and Transformation 122 and Sedimentary Rocks 144
5.2. Sedimentary Rock Formation 124 5.5. Clastic Sediments and Sedimentary
5.2.1. Weathering 124 Rocks 145 Physical or Mechanical 5.5.1. Genesis and Classification
Weathering 124 of Clastic Sedimentary Rocks 145 Chemical Weathering 126 5.5.2. Coarse-Grained Biological Weathering 128 SedimentsdRudaceous 146
5.2.2. Sediment Transport 128 Intraformational Breccias Fluvial Processes 128 and Conglomerates 147 Aeolian Processes 129 Extraformational Breccias 149 Glacial Processes 130 Extraformation
5.2.3. Deposition 130 Conglomerates 152
5.2.4. Lithification 132 5.5.3. Medium Granular Clastic
SedimentsdArenaceous Rocks 153
5.3. Texture and Structure of Sedimentary The Composition and
Rocks 133
Distribution of Sandy
5.3.1. Bedding 133
Sediments 153 External Bedding 134 Arenite Sandstones Internal Bedding 134
or Arenaceous Rocks 155 Upper Bedding Plane Graywacke or Wackes 157
Structures 137 Mixed or Hybrid Lower Bedding Plane
Sandstones 159
Structures 140
5.5.4. Fine Granular Clastic Forms Created by
SedimentsdPelite 159
Underwater Slides and Classification of Pelitic
with the Destruction
Sediments 159
of the Layers 141 Marlstone 162
5.3.2. Packing of Grains 142

Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology 121 Copyright Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
122 5. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS Organic Matter in the Limestone Classification 189

Argillaceous Sediments 163 Limestone Diagenesis 195
5.5.5. Diagenesis of Clastic Sediments 164 5.7.2. Dolomites 199 Diagenetic Processes in The Origin of Dolomite 200
Sandy Sediments 164 Early Diagenetic Diagenetic Processes in Dolomites 201
Clayey Sediments 168 Late-Diagenetic
5.5.6. Residual Sediments: Laterite, Dolomite 201
Kaolin, Bauxite and Terra Rossa 171 5.7.3. Evaporites 203 Mineral Composition,
5.6. Volcaniclastic Rock 174
Origin and Classification
5.6.1. Definition and Origin of
of Evaporites Rocks 203
Volcaniclastic Sediments and Rocks 174 Petrology and Diagenesis
5.6.2. Composition of Volcaniclastic
of Evaporite Sediments 205
Sediments and Rocks 177
5.7.4. Siliceous Sediments and Rocks 207
5.6.3. Alteration of Tuff 178 Mineral Composition,
5.7. Chemical and Biochemical Origin and Classification
Sedimentary Rocks 179 of Silicon Sediments
5.7.1. Limestone 179 and Sedimentary Rocks 207 Mineral Composition, Siliceous Sediments and
Physical, Chemical and Siliceous Rocks of
Biological Conditions Biogenic Foundation 208
for Foundation of Siliceous Sediments and
Limestone 179 Siliceous Rocks of The Structural Diagenesis Origin 210
Further Reading 212
of Limestone 182

5.1. FUNCTION, SIGNIFICANCE, as products of life activities of organisms or

CLASSIFICATION AND chemical secretion.
TRANSFORMATION The title of sedimentary rocks (from the Latin
sedimentum residue) suggests that these rocks
Sedimentary rocks are formed by one or in are formed by deposition of inorganic and
combination of the complex physical, chemical, organic, solid or excreted material from aqueous
biological and geological diagenetic processes solutions. However, the sedimentary rocks also
of sediments. The sediments are deposited on include rocks originated by diagenetic chemical
or near the Earth’s surface at a temperature processes of existing sediments and sedimentary
and pressure appropriate to these conditions. rocks (e.g. late-diagenetic dolomite and anhy-
The rocks are formed under specific processes drite, and some diagenetic siliceous sediment).
derived from other preexisting rocks of igneous, While the term “sediments” usually cover nonli-
sedimentary, and metamorphic origin, and/or thified, and in some cases, soft deposits, the
entitled sedimentary rocks mainly include lithi- Chemical and biochemical sediments and
fied deposits in the form of solid rock, and all sedimentary rocks include the following:
sediments and sedimentary rocks along.
1. Carbonate, e.g. limestone.
The basic requirement for the formation of
2. Evaporate, e.g. halite and carnallite.
sediment is the existence of underlying mate-
3. Siliceous sedimentary rocks, e.g. sandstone.
rials, which are primarily in the evolution of
Earth’s rocky crust, composed of igneous, The thick file of sediments moves down to
metamorphic and older sedimentary rocks. deeper depth due to overlying accumulation of
The deposition process continues at the Earth’s fresh sediments. The package at depth will be
surface with its evolution, so that the size and under the influence of elevated temperatures
thickness of sedimentary cover increases in and pressures, making some components unsta-
the rocky crust. The rock configuration changes ble and transform into new stable ingredients.
by tectonic movements (global tectonics), The same sediments gradually transform or
volcanism and erosion. The sedimentary rocks metamorphose under increasing pressure and
also include residues resulted by accumulation elevated temperature at great depth.
of volcanic materials after its transfer and It is experimented that the diagenesis with
deposition by wind, water or ice, i.e. pyroclas- significant metamorphic changes takes place at
tic rocks. a depth of 4e5 km, pressures up to approxi-
The sediments and sedimentary rocks are mately 2530 bar and temperatures below
divided into two basic groups with respect to 220  C. The temperature increase, due to
the type of physical, chemical, biochemical and geothermal gradient of 1  C/33 m depth, corrob-
geological processes. There are mixed sediments orates the temperature of 200e220  C at Central
and sedimentary rocks between these two European depths of about 6600e7260 m. It also
distinct and different groups (Table 5.2). supports that the temperature increase in the
Earth’s crust is not an exclusive function of the
1. Clastic (exogenous) sediments and
depth of the overlay, but due to the proximity
sedimentary rocks.
of magma, volcanism and other thermodynamic
2. Chemical and biochemical (endogenous)
factors. Therefore, the depth at which the meta-
sediments and sedimentary rocks.
morphism starts will be very different from place
Clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks are to place. It can be safe to assume that the sedi-
divided according to size of clasts, regardless mentary rocks gradually transform or metamor-
of their origin, except those ejected from vol- phose into metamorphic rocks at great depths of
canoes, as follows: covering supplemented by the rise of pressure
and temperature above 220  C (Fig. 6.9).
1. Coarse grain or gravel (rudaceous)
Many of the mineral resources are sedimen-
2. Medium-grain or sandy (arenaceous)
tary in origin. All mineral fuels, i.e. oil, natural
3. Fine grain and argillaceous (pelite).
gas, coal and oil shale, are confined only in sedi-
Sediments that are generated by deposition of ments, except otherwise in some special cases.
clasts ejected during volcanic eruptions belong The oil and gas-filled pores in lithified sediments,
to a special group of clastic sediments and called coal and oil shale are sedimentary rocks. Many
as “volcanoclastic” or “volcaniclastic” sedimen- metallic and nonmetallic minerals are hosted by
tary rocks. sedimentary rocks, e.g. majority of iron ore, and
Special group of clastic sediments include re- partly of manganese, copper, uranium and mag-
sidual sediment (residue) remaining after an nesium. In addition, many sedimentary rocks are
intense chemical weathering of rocks. directly used as raw material for obtaining

cement (marl and limestone), glass (quartz sand), 2. chemical, and

ceramic and porcelain (clay and kaolinite), bricks 3. biochemical factors, or due to the effects of
and tiles (clay), building materials like concrete atmosphere, water, ice, climate and
(aggregates of limestone, dolomite or sandstone, temperature changes, erosion, sunshine
gravel, and sand) or used as a technical, architec- and life activity of organisms.
tural and building stone (limestone, dolomite,
The first two, and the third factor of weath-
and sandstone). All the mineral phosphate, ni-
ering, are closely related and interactive. The
trate and potassium fertilizers mineral, salts
rocks are weathered out in two ways, by the ac-
(halite and carnallite) as well as gypsum and
tion of water, especially water flows like a river,
anhydrite are of sedimentary origin. The sedi-
occasional torrents and storm tides and waves:
mentary rocks are the excellent holders or the col-
lectors of freshwater, which today, become the 1. Mechanically because of the speed and power
primary life essential of all humanity. of water flows and water activities during the
transmission of material.
2. Chemical dissolution due to the action of the
5.2. SEDIMENTARY ROCK weak carbon and humic acids.
FORMATION Physical or Mechanical Weathering
Sedimentary rocks are, sediments, formed by The physical or mechanical wear and tear
the following precesses: (deterioration and weathering) includes frag-
mentation and disintegration of existing min-
1. Sedimentation of solid residues (clasts) left
erals and rocks, without the formation of new
over from weathering of older rocks (clastic
minerals. The development is primarily caused
by mechanical action of water, ice or wind, sun-
2. Biochemical and chemical secretion from
shine and frost. The process of grinding stones in
aqueous solutions, as well as the deposition
finely dispersed particles is a basic element of
and accumulation of fossil evidence.
physical weathering. This causes an increase in
3. Skeletons and shells of organisms (chemical
volume and decrease in density that facilitates
and biochemical sediments).
and accelerates their chemical weathering
The formations of sedimentary rocks include because of the intensification of the oxidation
the following: and hydration of primary mineral constituents
of the rocks. Products of the physical weathering
1. Processes of physical and chemical
are solid particles or clasts of different sizes:
weathering of older rocks.
2. Transfer or transport of materials in solid or 1. Mud (0.004e0.063 mm)
dissolved state. 2. Sand (0.063e2 mm)
3. Deposition or sedimentation. 3. Gravel (2e256 mm)
4. Complex processes of diagenesis and, 4. Boulder (>256 mm).
significantly, the lithifaction.
These materials may be transferred to a
greater or lesser distances by water, wind or gla-
5.2.1. Weathering ciers, or may remain in place.
Insolation (solar radiation energy) is the most
Weathering is the process of destruction of
important factor of physical weathering, espe-
rocks on Earth’s surface or shallow water due to:
cially in arid region (dry climate), i.e. in the de-
1. physical or mechanical, serts. The repeated changes of hot days and
cold nights cause recurring expansion and individual pieces will be larger at the highest
contraction of certain mineral constituents of speed of the water flow. The water swirling
rock. The anisotropic properties of minerals are along with rock material will impose strong
affected by various stresses causing to weak- impact on the rocks at the bottom and sides of
ening of ties between the mineral, cracking and the river bed. The tear-off pieces collapse into
disintegration of rocks. This process is particu- the river and become part of its course. The
larly intense in the surface areas of dark colored rock materials crumble, fall-apart, and crush in
rocks, e.g. basalt (Fig. 4.37). such a transfer situation. Thereby, the large
Absorption and desorption of water (hydratione pieces gradually become sandy and the final
dehydration) caused by large temperature differ- product of these processes results in grain sizes
ences that change the pressure of water vapor in of tiniest powder (silt).
the air and in the pores of rocks. It creates disso- Denudation is the name for the processes of
lution or extraction of minerals salts in the rock or erosion, leaching, stripping, and reducing the
enhances the strong hydration of some minerals mainland due to removal of material from higher
(e.g. anhydrite in gypsum). The frequent volume to lower areas like valleys, river valleys, lakes
change can result into complete destruction of and seas with a permanent filling of low lands.
rocks. The atmosphere is saturated with water Glacial erosion is among the most devastating
vapor and decrease evaporation of water from factors of physical weathering of rocks on
the pores of rocks, specifically, at lower tempera- Earth’s surface. The ice and rock carried by
tures, typically at night. However, the evapora- glaciers acted as sandpaper which moves down
tion of water from rocks increases at high the valley, smoothing and widening them,
temperatures during day and the pressure of wa- leaving U-shaped profiles for the valley cross-
ter vapor in the air fall. These changes are caused sections. There will be, finally, large steep-
by repeated dissolving and crystallization of salt. walled bowls called “glacial cirques” at the
The rocks formed cavities during dissolving the heads of these valleys. A sharp-sided ridge sep-
salt, which further enhance its physical and arates them when glaciers carve out valleys
chemical weathering. The crystallization of salts next to each other.
in the pores space makes destructive stresses Abrasion wave activity is more intense as
due to increase in volume of the rocks. The greater as their speed and strength. The abrasion
hydration of anhydrite to gypsum increases the is stronger with larger grain sizes, larger quan-
volume by 38%. tity of material transfer, and the weaker ground
Freezingethawing is at temperate climates in rock strength. Abrasion on the seacoasts de-
the high mountains of rocks saturated with wa- pends on the strength of the waves, which can
ter. This exerts high pressure and great stress move the heavy stone blocks of several hundred
due to increased volume of ice compared to the tons in the stormy weather. The high waves hit
volume of water. Such stresses can destroy the the rocky shore and destroy rocks due to the po-
hardest rocks. The intensity of destruction is sub- wer of water and waves. The hydraulic effects of
ject to freezing of high-porosity rocks that are water contained in the hollows and crevices of
already tectonically fractured. coastal rocks crack and break the massive boul-
Erosion is the process of destruction of relating ders into pieces (Fig. 5.1). In the activity of waves
parts of the Earth’s surface with accessibility of and moving of rock material by mutual collision
streams, ice and wind. The river erosion is stron- and friction of the fragments of the original
gest with torrential water flows. The water angular remain form well-rounded grains of
carries a large mass of rock debris. The quantity sand and gravel. The rocky debris becomes
of material transfer will be more and the size of smaller all the while.

FIGURE 5.1 Strong action of wind and wave of Pacific

Ocean crack, break and split the giant hard rock mass to
smaller fragments of sand and silt along West Coast High-
way to San Francisco. Source: Soumi. FIGURE 5.2 Chemical weathering by surface oxidation
process of rain and seawater on basalt. The dark gray/black
color has changed to reddish forming open erosion cavities,
Mumbai coastal area, India. Chemical Weathering
The chemical weathering occurs mainly due and mineral composition of rocks (Fig. 5.2).
to the action of water, carbonic acid and oxygen The oxidation zone is the deepest in rocks of
on the minerals and rocks, where they are chem- areas where the basic water is deep below the
ically susceptible to changes. As a consequence, surface. The oxidation occurs mainly above the
some disappear and some appear as “authi- basic level of groundwater table in areas with
genic” minerals, which are stable under condi- steep relief and warm climate. The rainwater
tions prevailing in the Earth’s surface or just enriched with oxygen (which causes oxidation
below the surface. The chemical weathering in processes) penetrates into the depth of the pores
action of water and water as a mild carbonic of rocks. In the deeper layers, water gradually
acid is hydration. The same process with action loses oxygen with more and more saturation of
of oxygen is oxidation. dissolved cations and anions, and loses the
Hydration is the process of receiving Hþ ions oxidizing effect. The effect of oxidation processes
and the release of alkali elements (Na, K, Li, on color change of rocks can be seen best in fresh
Ca, Mg, Sr) and silicon (Si). A great amount of al- outdoor shoots of dark gray sediments along
kali liberates during the chemical weathering of and around the tectonic cracks, crevices or
rocks, transfer by water in dissolved, mainly open layer spaces. The transition in dark tan or
ionic, but partly in collide state over long dis- reddish color can be seen along zones of circula-
tances in rivers, lakes and seas. The same water tion of oxygen-enriched rainwater. Such color
excretes new minerals in the favorable physical change is the result of oxidation of Fe2þ to Fe3þ
and chemical conditions. The weathering prod- with the formation of goethite (yellow-brown co-
ucts of some rocks in the hydration and carbon- lor) or hematite (reddish color), and oxidation of
ation generate soils that are very different in organic matter.
different climatic zones. The easily oxidized mineral constituents of
Oxidation is a very significant factor of chemi- rocks are sulfides, such as, pyrite (FeS2), hematite
cal weathering of rocks. The oxidation process (Fe2O3) or goethite (a-FeO,OH), and from other
changes the primary color, porosity, volume, constituents of rocks and organic matter.
The chemical weathering depends on the carbonate occurs in water, which can be illus-
climate. The heat, daytime and annual tempera- trated by the following chemical reaction:
ture fluctuations and humidity significantly
accelerate the abrasion. The increase in tempera- CaCO3 þ H2 O þ CO2 ƒƒƒ! CaðHCO3 Þ2
ture by 10  C accelerates the flow of chemical re- Calcite ½Hþ þ ½HCO3  ƒƒƒ! CaðHCO3 Þ2
actions up to 2e2.5 times more. The chemical
weathering is related to the Earth’s surface, dissociation calcium
carbonic hydrogen-
shallow area and underwater. The weathering acid carbonate
process can be under the influence of the atmo-
sphere, water and seawater. The main factor of The effects of water on feldspars are leaching
chemical weathering of rocks is water that con- of alkalis, liberation of Si and combination with
tains dissolved CO2 and dissociates to the free H2O in the silicic acid to form kaolinite. It is a
well-known process of kaolinitization:

ƒ! Al2 Si2 O5 ðOHÞ4 þ 4H4 SiO4 þ 2Kþ þ ðCO3 Þ2

2KAlSi3 O8 þ 10H2 O þ CO2 ƒƒƒƒƒ
orthoclase kaolinite silicic acid

[H]þ and [HCO3]þ ions, representing a mild car- Kaolinitization process is an example of
bonic acid (CO2 þ H2O ¼ H2CO3). The content of chemical weathering, hydration and the leaching
free [H]þ ion determines its chemical activity of mineral constituents of parent rock and gener-
and the share of water acts neutrally (pH ¼ 7), ates new or authigenic minerals. The formation
acidic (pH ¼ 1e7) and alkaline (pH ¼ 7e14). of new minerals is called “autigenesis”. The
The process of formation of new mineral most common authigenic minerals formed dur-
directly depends on the pH of the water. ing the chemical weathering are clay minerals
Kaolinite is the most important mineral in the and the aluminum hydroxides. The minerals
zone of weathering and occurs in acidic pH
w5. Montmorillonite occurs in the weak alka-
line solution at pH >7. The water in the chemi-
cal weathering has a significant role in
transferring large amounts of easily soluble an-
ions and cations. The large amounts of silicic
acid (H4SiO4) or Si ions that are released during
the weathering of silicate minerals are equally
If the pressure of CO2 increases in the atmo-
sphere, it will increase its solubility in the water
creating an increase in acidity of water, i.e. its
conversion into weak carbonic acid. Such water
is chemically very aggressive toward many pet-
rogenic minerals intensively destroying carbon-
ates, feldspars and amphiboles.
FIGURE 5.3 Chemical weathering of limestone in asso-
The effect of water containing dissolved car- ciation of rain and seawater with erosion of surface leaving
bon dioxide on calcite is very fast and powerful large open cavities, Mediterranean Sea at west bank of
process (Fig. 5.3). The soluble calcium hydrogen Alexandria, Egypt.

from kaolinite group generate during weath- mixed with debris material due to the difference
ering of rocks with large precipitation. It forms in the speeds and whirling motion. The detritus
weak acidic solution in the soil at pH of 5 and can be carried by dragging, suspension, sedi-
contains enough dissolved silicon in water in ment flow, underwater sliding and gravity
the form of silicic acid (H4SiO4). flow. This is similar to rock transfer in air by
landslides and avalanches. Biological Weathering The particles and grains will slide or roll on
Biological weathering takes place under the the bottom during the material transfer. The
influence of life activities of organisms. The grains moves in short jumps during transmis-
organic processes involve biological dissolution sion, i.e. hitting in the bottom and bounce off
of rocks from bacterial activity, humic acids the bottom back in the fluid. The detritus finally
and bioerosion or destruction. The changes occur settle when the energy of water (or wind) is so
by the growth of roots, and drilling of organisms much limited that it can no longer move. The
(shells, lichens, cyanobacteria, algae and the transfer with the suspension is possible only if
fungi) in the rock on which they cultivate. The the intensity of turbulent water movement is
bioerosion of carbonate rocks (limestone and greater than the speed of deposition of material
dolomite) caused by cyanobacteria, lichens and by the action of gravity. The fine grain of
fungi has particularly significant role. The large clay-dusty (mud) or clay-sandy-dusty detritus
areas where these organisms live, and their pro- transmits mainly in suspension. The flow of sed-
longed activities during the geological period iments is the movement of a mixture of unbound
destroy significant amount of rock with the for- sediment and water. The underwater sliding in-
mation of massive quantity of very fine-grained cludes sliding of poorly bound sediment down
carbonate detritus of limestone sludge (Section the slope on the bottom of the nearly flat or a lit- tle wavy surface. The sedimentary body origi-
nated by sliding (Section in the lower
and upper parts shows a strong deformation of
5.2.2. Sediment Transport
primary inner and outer stratification or slump
The transfer of detritus, i.e. solid materials or structure. The deformation in central part of
clasts remaining after the physical and chemical such body can be weak and strong in the lower
weathering, primarily takes place by water, and and upper part. There is always a clear angular
lesser part by wind and glaciers. discordance toward the basement and roof
(Fig. 5.17). Fluvial Processes Blurry or turbidity currents are flow of mate-
The transfer of detritus by flowing water is the rial mixed with water under the influence of
most natural way of transport and deposition of gravity moving down the slightly inclined
sedimentary rock. The flow of water can be (1e3 ), but long underwater slopes. The blurry
orderly, laminar or turbulent. Laminar move- or turbidity current of material forms due to
ment of water is gentle with certain parts of the the increase mixing of solid particles with water
fluid move in the parallel layers. The movement and differences in effects of gravity on large
of detritus is also parallel to the flow of water grains and small particles. The large grains
without mixing. In turbulent or vortex move- (gravel) move forward with greater acceleration
ment, the main flow of water changes the speed and accumulate in the bottom. The smaller
and also the direction of flow. The turbulence grains (sand) lag increasingly behind in stream,
movement of water carries large masses of fluid and the smallest particles (dust, silt and clay)
left behind suspended in the tail of currents. The to fine-grained muddy matrix in such a mutual
suspension raises high above the bottom due to ratio that the clasts have matrix support (clasts
the turbulence of water. The coarse grains move “floating” in fine matrix). Coarse blocks in
faster up to 60 km/h compared to the smaller debrite and debrite breccias are known under
particles. The larger grains are increasingly the name “olistolith” (Fig. 7.8; Section 7.2.5).
separated from the small grains and accumulate The clasts that originate from the strong phys-
in the frontal part of the flow and in its bottom. ical weathering or erosion of rocks outside
The finer materials that are lagging behind in participation area belong to extraclasts, and
the suspension are lifted above the bottom. In which originate from erosion of older sedimen-
this way, the current or flow separates coarse tary rocks inside the participation area called
material on the forehead, medium material in intraclasts.
the middle and fine material in the tail end.
The granulometric differentiation takes place Aeolian Processes
horizontally and vertically (large grains in bot- The wind can carry substantial amounts of ma-
tom, small in suspension above the bottom). terial of small dimensions to long distances, espe-
The sediments of special structure, “turbidites,” cially in areas of bulk material with a dry arid
are common in flysch facies and are created climate or in deserts. The area is characterized
from such distributed material within the turbi- by lack of moisture and vegetation. The main ac-
dite current. These structures are deposited as tivity of the wind in the desert consists in puffing
sedimentary fan-shaped bodies (Figs 3.8 and away, blowing up and transfer of sand and dust
7.9) as shown in more detail in Section 7.2.5. grains of a certain size depending on the intensity
The detrite flows or debris flows are defined and wind speed. On the other hand, the grains are
as more or less cohesive laminar flows of rela- sorted from coarse to smallest particles in weak-
tively dense sedimentefluid mixture of plastic ening of power and speed of wind. The regular
types or clasts containing at least 4% clay wind usually does not carry sand-size grains far
component. The stability of the sediments is away and only the strongest winds can move
disturbed by extruding of fluids and clay, and larger sand grains by jumping on the ground
thus initiates its movement down the slope. and thereby transport sand in the direction of
The debrite flows can be initiated by seismic the wind and settles in the form of sand dune.
shocks or can develop as a result of rapid accu- In contrast, the strong wind or air vortex cur-
mulation of debris or formation of gases in sed- rents can lift fine sand and dusts high off the
iments that cause local increase of pressures. ground and transfer to very long distances. The
When the gravity force is no longer stronger wind can pick up the smallest dust thousands
than the internal friction of sedimentary masses, of feet high in the air and carry it hundreds of
or when there is no exceeded pore pressure, the miles far away from where it was raised. The
flow suddenly stops or “freezes”. The detrite wind, except in deserts, puffs sand and dust
flows can move down the slope angle >1 from river flood plains, upper delta plains and
with the speed of up to 20 cm/s. low coastal sea areas, especially low coastal
The sediments formed by precipitation of areas above high tide level. All this material is
detrite flows are called “debrites”. The typical redeposited closer or further from the original
debrites are mainly composed of clasts of place in the form of special sediments and sedi-
different sizes: coarse granular debris, with a mentary bodies, which are known as aeolianite,
diameter of several millimeters up to tens or aeolian dunes and mega-dunes or loess (Section
even hundreds of meters, and medium granular
130 5. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS Glacial Processes becomes too weak to continue moving all the
The glaciers carry and transport large amount materials. The glacier moves down on lower re-
of materials by erosion and scraping of the sides gion and starts melting. The deposition pro-
and bedrock on which it descend in lower areas. cesses are very complex and form different
Material transported by glaciers is not sorted types of layer and shapes of sedimentary bodies
because of its incorporation in an ice mass. There (Section 5.3 and Chapter 7). There are three main
is no possibility of selection of detritus on grain ways of settling of material and sedimentary
size. Therefore, sediments deposited from gla- filling of space namely aggradation, prograda-
cier’s transportation are extremely poorly sorted tion and retrogradation (Fig. 5.4).
and contain smallest particles and up to several Aggradation is the deposition process in which
decimeter-diameter blocks, and even feet, as it depositional area fills with vertical stacking of
is the case with diamictite (Section 5.5.2). The sediment from the thick layer of water, as for
coarse and fine-grain detritus can be transported example the case of deposition in the deep water
in the form of iceberg that floats on rivers, lakes far away from shore. The new sediment settles
or seas. Such material is deposited on the river, just above the previously deposited material
lake or sea bottom, after the gradual melting of (Fig. 5.4(A)). Aggradation is simply the increase
icebergs and more often in their grain size. The in land elevation step by step due to the deposi-
mineralogical composition differs significantly tion of new sediment in areas in which the
from the usual lake or marine sediments.
The role of the glaciers in the transfer of mate-
rial is limited only to areas with permanent ice
and snow cover, particularly on high mountains
with glaciers and moraines. A part of ice and
snow melts during the summer and the rock
debris accumulates in the form of moraines.
Moraines are composed of materials of
different sizes and different types of sediments
and sedimentary rocks (till, tillite, and diamic-
tite). The sliding speed of glaciers is very
different, depending on the angle of slopes, ice
thickness, the width of the surface over which
it moves, roughness and climate changes, partic-
ularly of temperature. In general, the speed of
glaciers can be of only a few millimeters and
up to several meters per day. The accumulated
material can still carry with the water that origi-
nates from melting of ice in the forehead. These
are fluvioglacial flows that have high energy
and can strongly erode the surface.

5.2.3. Deposition
FIGURE 5.4 Three chief processes of debris settling
The deposition of material transferred by wa- from the moving of solideliquid-mix materials and sedi-
ter, wind or ice begins to cease at a time and mentary feeling such as (A) Aggradation, (B) Progradation,
place when the power of water or wind or ice and (C) Retrogradation.
supply of sediment is greater than the amount of precipitate sediments of deeper and deeper wa-
material that the system is able to transport, ters. In other words, the process is the landward
often resulting subsidence. It typically includes change in position of the front of river delta with
lowland alluvial rivers, deltas and fans. time and occurs when the volume of the
Progradation is the deposition process in which incoming sediment is less than the volume of
the depositional area fills most of its edges toward the delta that is lost through subsidence, sea
the center. The material deposits from the coast level rise and/or resulting erosion.
and moves progressively further toward the cen- The gradual decline in the power of water
ter of the depositional area (Fig. 5.4(B)). Prograda- precipitates the largest or larger particles first,
tion is the growth of river delta farther out into and then all the finer particles. The major part
the sea over time, such that the volume of of coarse river sediments deposit in alluvial
incoming sediments is greater than the volume fans (Section 7.2.2; Figs 7.1 and 7.2), deltas (Sec-
of the delta that is lost through subsidence, sea tion 7.2.2; Figs 7.3 and 7.4), and the fine-
level rise and/or erosion. The youngest sedimen- grained sediments on the flood plains in floods,
tary depositional units are usually not in its entire i.e. discharge from the river bed. A huge amount
propagation deposited on the previously depos- of sand and muddy sediments accumulates on
ited units. The younger units settle on sediments the tidal plains and the sand deposits on the
deposited by aggradation rather than prograda- shallow sandbanks and sandy beaches (Section
tion, providing that portions of deposition by 7.2.3) and in the turbidity range (Section 7.2.5).
aggradation are significantly smaller than those The turbidity current carries huge amounts of
formed in progradation. The consequence of pro- assorted sedimentary material down the slope
gradation deposition is depositional sequence and arrives on the flat bottom first. It, fairly
in which it does not always match the prograda- and quickly, deposits majority of the large grains
tion sediment units. Progradation is the most at that area from the head of turbidite flow
prominent process of deposition in river deltas, within minutes or hours. All the sands and
turbidity fans, the deposition of fragments of even finer grains are deposited in next few
skeletal organisms in coral and other reefs. days and weeks, and the remaining tiny particles
The progress of coral reefs and other similar of clay from the tail of turbidite flow settle only a
sediments deposits on the slope of the ridge. few hundred or even thousands of years dura-
Progradation is very common in the tertiary de- tion. In such deposition of turbidite flow crop-
posits of Pannonian Basin, and has an impor- up fan-shape sedimentary body or “turbidity
tant role in mutual relations between collector fan” with proper vertical and lateral sorting of
and isolator rocks in the oil and gas fields grains and particles, specific layered shapes
(Fig. 5.24). and texturalestructural features (Section 7.2.5).
Retrogradation is a process of deposition in These sediments are known as “turbidites”.
which sedimentation area expands due to rela- Large quantities of coarse granular debris depo-
tive or global lifting of sea level, i.e. sinking of sit by gravitational flows at the foot of steep cliffs
depositional area or rising of global sea level. or mountain ranges in the form of talus on land
Retrogradation is generally characteristic for or debrites under the sea (Fig. 5.24; Section 7.2.4).
the transgressive cycle during which the The alluvial fan, lake and marine deltas, tidal
shallow-sea sediments precipitate farther and plains, shallow-sea sandbank, as well as
farther toward the mainland along with the turbidity fans and debrites are the most impor-
influx of sea and coastline moving increasingly tant sedimentary bodies with characteristics of
into the mainland (Fig. 5.4(C)). In this way over oil and gas collectors. Large amounts of calcium
the initially deposited shallow marine sediments carbonate can be deposited on the bottom of

waterfalls and in freshwater lakes through the

life processes of plants in the form of calcareous
tuff (Section; Fig. 5.43, etc.). Materials
created by direct excretion of minerals from the
water, either inorganic or organic, or biogenic
processes precipitate in the sea. Similarly, large
quantity of skeletons and shell of organisms
(Section 5.7.1) settle down in shallow and
warm seas. In this way, carbonate platforms
are formed with different shapes and types of
carbonate sedimentary bodies, which can also
be an important reservoir rocks for oil and gas
(Section 7.3.1). The deeper seas/oceans are
favored location for deposition of the finely
grained pelitic sediments (Section 5.5.4), the car- FIGURE 5.5 Alternate thin layers of extremely fine-
bonate mud (Section, and the silicon grained calcium carbonate (light and white) and metallic
sediments (Section 5.7.4). minerals (sphalerite, galena and pyritedgray, yellow and
orange) deposited within week duration out of fine clayey
The sediments and sedimentary rocks receive
diamond drill cuttings passing through zinc-lead minerali-
special shapes and the texturalestructural fea- zation in limestone host rock. The deposition occurs within
tures as a result of different mechanisms of trans- the drill-sump of return water. The particles settle in rhyth-
port and deposition of material, lithification or mic layers due to difference of Sp. Gr. between limestone
diagenetic processes. The exploration geologists, and metallic minerals and dried fast at day temperature of
w50  C. The recently formed compact sediment resembles
and especially sedimentologists, can reliably
laminated limestone. Image is taken at drill site of Lennard
determine the conditions and the environments Shelf Exploration Camp, Meridian Minerals Limited, West-
of deposition of sediments and the rocks depos- ern Australia in midsummer of 2011 by the Author.
ited in geologic past through systematic study.
The inferences can logically be experimented to
demonstrate the depositional environment and increasing amount of new sediments, so that wa-
process (Fig. 5.5). ter eliminates with compaction flow and rises
into the upper layers causing chemical diage-
netic changesdthe secretion of new minerals.
5.2.4. Lithification
The compaction results decrease in porosity of
Lithifaction is a complex set of physical and the sediments and its gradual solidification
chemical processes known as diagenesis. These with the changes in mineral composition, and
are processes by which bulk, soft, water- excretion of new mineral resulting in cementa-
saturated loose deposits gradually become solid tion of the sediments or rocks (Section 5.5.5).
sedimentary rock. The major diagenetic pro- Cementation is the process of excretion and
cesses of lithifaction include compaction and crystallization of minerals in pores of the de-
cementation. posits. The new or authigenic minerals are called
Compaction is the process of mechanical cement (Fig. 5.18). It leads to a decrease in
compression or packing of soft, loose, porous porosity and to interconnection of individual
and water-soaked sediment with increasing grains and components in solid rock. There are
pressure due to the weight of new sediments, other chemical diagenetic processes, other than
i.e. due to increased depth of the overlay. The cementation, that play an important role in
older compact sediments fall deeper under the solidification of deposits and their gradual
transition in solid rock. The most important hydrodynamic conditions that existed during
among them are dissolution, pressure dissolu- formation, transfer and deposition of debris.
tion, authigenesis, recrystallization, silicification The investigations of grain size of clastic sedi-
and dolomitization (Sections 5.5.5,, and ments are essentially significant for determining the conditions of weathering and breaking
methods and mechanisms of transfer and depo-
sition of material. It is also necessary for the clas-
5.3. TEXTURE AND STRUCTURE sification and nomenclature of the clastic
OF SEDIMENTARY ROCKS sediments based precisely on the grain size.
The calcareous sediments originate in different
The sedimentary structure refers to all the fea- conditions and present various texturalestruc-
tures caused by their mutual relations, spatial tural features, classification based on the size
distribution and orientation of individual com- and shape of grains or skeletal and nonskeletal
ponents, as well as external and internal components (e.g. terminology intrasparite, intra-
morphological forms of sedimentary rocks. The sparrudite, grainstone, rudstone, biocalcrudite,
texture of rock includes the grain size, relation- biocalcarenites, etc.; Section The degree
ships, distribution and shapes of the mineral of crystallinity and crystal size are the main
components, i.e. internal microdistribution of textural features of chemical sedimentary rocks.
its constituent parts. The size and crystalline forms are microcrystal-
Primary sedimentary structural shapes (layers line, euhedral macrocrystalline, mosaic struc-
and laminations) are formed during deposition ture, etc. (Section 5.3.2).
or shortly after, and certainly prior to compac- The knowledge of texturalestructural charac-
tion and lithifaction of deposits. The primary teristics and layer forms of sedimentary rocks are
texturalestructural shapes also add up the valuable information and necessary for the
forms, the appearance and features that are in reconstruction of the conditions and environ-
the sediment or by simultaneous deformation ment of deposition, such as, depth and water en-
with deposition or shortly after deposition ergy, transfer method of material and
before covering with new sediments. All other mechanisms of deposition, flow direction, role
forms that in sediments and rocks are formed af- of organisms, shape of sedimentary bodies,
ter deposition, i.e. during diagenetic processes, facies, etc.
are called secondary texturalestructural forms.
In general, texturalestructural shapes and
structural characteristics of sedimentary rocks
5.3.1. Bedding
belong to its most important feature. The pri- The main structural characteristic of sedi-
mary texturalestructural sediments form under ments and sedimentary rocks is bedding with
the direct result of the conditions that existed wide variations that include irregular, regular
in transport and deposition of material and the or rhythmical and cyclical, gradation, sloppy,
resultant of all processes in the environment of flazer, lenticular and wavy, horizontal, oblique
deposition. The secondary texturalestructural and sinuous. The bedding is one of the first char-
features are the result of complex diagenetic pro- acteristic that is observed in the field as a funda-
cesses (recrystallization, pressure dissolution, mental feature of sedimentary rocks. This
compaction, and chemical diagenesis). phenomenon is more or less clear separation of
The grain size is the most important character- individual texturalestructural, lithological or
istic of clastic and calcareous sediments. It is grain size distribution of unique members or
closely related with physical, chemical and “layers” in sedimentary rocks.

The layer is the geological body generally of layer created as a result of sedimentation in uni-
uniform composition and internal layer forms form physical, chemical and/or biological condi-
throughout the thickness of sedimentary package. tions under constant and continued deposition.
The sediments deposited below and above are If any of these parameters changes, then there
separated by some discontinuity, change in parti- is a change of sedimentation, thus forming a
cle size or mineral composition. The thickness of new layer. The layers differ with regard to thick-
layer is not always the same size, but varies in ness by bedding (>1 cm) and laminae or lamina-
wide limits, depending on the morphology of tion (<1 cm). The vertical layers are classified
sediments below, mechanism, method and condi- into two categories, (1) irregular and (2) regular,
tions of deposition and texturalestructural considering the grain size sorting with different
shapes. The layer can be considered as lenticular or same lithological or texturalestructural
body of different thickness and propagation, characteristics.
and in certain circumstances and environment
1. Irregular bedding includes a completely
of deposition and wedge-shaped body, e.g. the
uneven and asymmetrical vertical sorting of
case for foreset of deltas and underwater dunes
layers of different types of petrographic or
(Sections 7.2.2 and 7.2.3).
texturalestructural forms (e.g. ACBADC), as
The separation of individual layers can be me-
a result of a completely irregular changes in
chanically represented by the open layer or layer
sediment area.
plane. In the absence of such mechanical separa-
2. Regular, cyclical or rhythmic bedding with
tion, the bedding can be clearly identified by
the vertical sequence of alternate petrological
changes of smaller and larger components, the
and/or texturalestructural different layers at
distribution of fossils, organic matter, change of
uniform vertical periodic repetition of such
color, porosity and methods of cementing or
changes (Fig. 5.6). The group of layers in one
changes in forms, the types of rock and mineral
cycle of repetition is called a sequence, cycle,
components, changes in internal features (chang-
parasequence, cyclothem, megacycles or
ing layers with oblique bedding and lamination).
megasequence, according to periodic
The layers can be separated from each other with
repetition with respect to the dimensions
thinner, usually soft, interlayers, like clay, silt,
duration and manner of deposition origin.
marl or sand, deposited between solid layers of
limestone, sandstone, conglomerate and chert.
The sedimentary rocks sometimes do not Internal Bedding
include any bedding and are massive or nonbed- Internal bedding includes texturalestructural
ding rocks, which is often the case in late- forms within a single or multiple layers. Most
diagenetic dolomites and breccias. The massive often, and for the interpretation of conditions
rocks are often without internal organization or and environment of deposition, the major types
internal forms and not just on the rocks with of internal beddings are horizontal bedding,
no open bedding. The distinctness of two main convolute bedding, planar cross-bedding,
beddings is (1) external or irregular, rhythmic trough cross-bedding, hummocky cross-
or cyclical bedding, and, (2) internal bedding. bedding, flaser bedding, wavy bedding, lentic-
ular bedding and graded bedding. External Bedding Horizontal bedding is a type of internal bedding
External bedding with the presence of separa- in which each layer consists of many thin
tion of individual layer is the most significant (0.1e10 mm) parallel laminae. Each individual
structural characteristics of sedimentary rocks. lamina is characterized by unique granulometric
The basic unit of the external beddings is the and petrographic composition (Fig. 5.7). This

FIGURE 5.6 Regular bedding with vertical sequence of rhythmic, cycles and parasequence style of sedimentary deposition
and lithification.

type of bedding typically occurs as a result of

faster or slower changes in the deposition of
fine-grain detritus, silt and fine sand, or changes
in temperature and concentration of water.
Convolute bedding is a special type of bedding
inside the layer (thickness >10 mm) or within the
lamina (thickness <10 mm). It is characterized
by convolute laminae within the layer that is in
sequence with the top and bottom layers. The
FIGURE 5.7 Horizontal beddingdvertical changes of
convolute bedding is generally the best and dark clay-marly laminae and light carbonate laminae.
most developed in the fine sand and dust sedi-
ments. It occurs as a result of hydroplastic defor-
mation of still unhardened sediment under the of inclined layers. The groups of units of the
influence of strong water currents that flow same or similar slope are called set. The layers
over such deposits. The bedding is formed by and laminae within the sets that have a slope in
the mutual friction between the current flow the direction of input of materials are known as
and sediment. It can also form in the postphase foreset, for example, by precipitation in the delta
of sedimentation as a result of hydroplastic (Fig. 7.8(B)), large currents or underwater dunes.
deformation due to the sudden displacement of The cross-bedding can be designated as (1)
water or the sudden release of gases from the planar cross-bedding, (2) trough cross-bedding
sludge. and (3) hummocky cross-bedding according to
Cross-bedding is the most common and most the shape and characteristics.
significant layer in the form of sedimentary rocks. Planar cross-bedding is characterized by more
It consists of groups of mutually parallel lamina or less planar boundaries between sets (Figs
or layers deposited askew in relation to the outer 5.8(A) and 5.9) and is characteristic of river sed-
surface layer (Fig. 5.8). The cross-bedding refers iments, and the most important feature of eolian
to horizontal units that are internally composed dunes and foreset underwater dunes.

FIGURE 5.8 Conceptual diagram showing (A) planar cross-bedding and (B) trough cross-bedding.

FIGURE 5.9 Field photograph of planner cross-bedding.

Source: Prof. Biplab Bhattacharya. FIGURE 5.10 Field photograph of trough cross-bedding.
Source: Prof. Biplab Bhattacharya.

Trough cross-bedding have surface of sets in

shape of trough (Figs 5.8(B) and 5.10). More generally found in sediments of granulometric
sets and cosets of similar thickness appear regu- composition to coarse powder and fine sand
larly in between layers. This shape can be well (0.03e0.25 mm). It occurs in shallow shelf sands
observed in cross-section perpendicular to the below fair weather wave base, which is usually
axis of the trough. It is characteristic of fine- located at 5e20 m depth. It is an essential feature
grained sandy river sediments deposited in river of tempestite or storm sediments, i.e. sediments
beds, and along with planar cross-bedding in deposited in stormy waves.
sandy sediments of intertwined rivers. Flaser, lenticular and wavy bedding are of
Hummocky cross-bedding is a special form of great importance for the reconstruction and
cross-beddings, characterized by wavy or hilly interpretation of conditions and hydrodynamic
sets of inclined lamina. The inclined lamina are features in the environment of deposition. The
parallel to the base, and a little wavy, and placed gradual transition from flazer through lenticular
one above the other, alternating convex and bedding has a certain interrelationship of deposi-
concave curved forms, often showing erosion tion of sand and mud (clayey-dusty detritus) and
on older lamina. Hummocky cross-bedding is indicates decline in water energy (Fig. 5.11).
environment of deposition. The structure is com-
mon on the foreheads of the marine delta and
small lake delta, where the deposition of mud
is predominant with occasional input of sandy
accumulation in short periods of excessive sup-
ply of water. The sand deposits in the form of
isolated unrelated wave or current ripples or
lenses, specifically in stronger flow of water.
Graded bedding is characterized by a gradual
decrease in grain size from the base to the top
FIGURE 5.11 Conceptual diagrams depicting the flaser,
layer. The grain size ranges from gravel in the
lenticular and wavy bedding composed of finely granular bottom, through the sand to muddy sediments
sand (light), and clay and mud (dark). at the top. The deposit usually forms in interval
of Ta Boumina turbidity sequences. It follows
an initial deposition of large grains and graded
Flaser bedding occurs in fine-sandy and weakly progressively upward finer grains with decrease
clayey and muddy sediments with wave and in transport energy as time passes. The differ-
current ripple. It is characterized by cross- ences in speeds of movement control sequence
laminations draped with silt or clay. Flaser of deposition of coarse and fine-grained debris
beds form in environments where the strengths (Fig. 7.10). The gradation can occur in deposition
of current flow fluctuate considerably, thus from the suspension in the final phase of severe
permitting the transport of sand in ripples, fol- flooding and high tides. The gradation can also
lowed by low-energy periods when mud can occur by deposition of volcanoclastic material
drape the ripples. with volcanic eruptions. The volcano ejects
Wavy bedding is genetically similar and associ- large-size particles at the beginning of the erup-
ated with flaser bedding. It is characterized by tion and followed by weakening of the eruption
equal amounts of sand and mud in composition. progressively charging smaller material.
The clayeargillaceous deposits, above sands
containing the wave or current ripple, precipi- Upper Bedding Plane Structures
tate in the form of continuous layers, unlike In the upper bedding planes, most important
flaser beddings. The sandy wavy layers are and common forms of structures are desiccation
mutually separated by a layer of clay or argilla- cracks ripple marks, and occasionally even
ceous material (Fig. 5.11). The sand with ripples reptile footprints and imprints of rain drops.
is deposited in the period of stronger energy of Desiccation cracks or mud-cracks form when
water, and clay and/or pelite during weak en- drying mud shrinks. The shape and size depend
ergy of water which, in comparison to what in on their mineral composition, grain size, inten-
creation of flaser beddings last longer. Wavy sity of drainage, thickness and homogeneity of
bedding in modification of flaser and lenticular the layers and deposits. The cracks appear in
bedding usually occurs in the tidal plains and the upper bedding planes of clay, silt, mud,
in the tidal environments. clayeyesandy sediments, and muddy or micrite
Lenticular bedding is characterized by the formed by early diagenetic limestone and dolo-
appearance of individual, mutually laterally mites. The cracks are arranged on the surface
and vertically disconnected lenses of sand de- layers in more or less regular polygonal shapes
posits within clayesilt residues (Fig. 5.11). It oc- (Fig. 5.12), generally V-shape in cross-section
curs in quiet, shallow water, usually in tidal and in the lithified sediments. The cracks are

sand dunes, and often observed on the upper

bedding planes of sandstone and limestone
layers. The ripples (waves) are described by
measuring their height or amplitude and wave-
lengths to ascribe the morphology, such as sym-
metric, asymmetric, and transverse ripples.
These elements, however, provide very impor-
tant information on the conditions and environ-
ment of deposition, particularly on energy and
the way of the water flow. Ripples appear in
groups and always on large planes (Fig. 5.13).
The ripples are created by moving the unbound,
mainly sandy sediments with water currents.
FIGURE 5.12 Desiccation cracks developed in recent
sediments at Papuk, the largest mountain range in the Sla-
The wave and current ripples differ according
vonia region in eastern Croatia. to the origin:
• Current ripple marks occur in one-way
regularly filled with sediment of upper layer transfer of sand with water flows or currents,
rock materials. The formation of cracks are i.e. currents which are moving in one
limited to the subaerial conditions in continental direction only for long time, such as in tidal
environments, especially alluvial flood plain, currents. The current ripples are characterized
drained ponds, tidal and supratidal environ- by the orientation of longitudinal axis of
ments, and primarily of vast tidal plain, where ripples transversely to the direction of flow
water is rapidly lost from the deposits or and properly arranged crests and troughs.
sediments. Little current ripple marks occur in muddy
Ripple marks are systems of microridges and and fine-grain sand and limestone sediments
valleys, like surface of wavy sea and desert in river environments, on the tidal plains and

FIGURE 5.13 Conceptual diagram presenting the wave formed by ripple marks, in lateral cross-section showing the
planar cross-bedding, and in longitudinal section trough cross-bedding.
sandy beaches. Large current ripple marks, are often rare in the upper bedding plane. These
known as mega-ripples, sand-waves marks can be preserved only in special condi-
underwater (subaqueous) dunes, occur in tions, where the reptile left footprint on the soft
higher energy of water in river environments, sediment in tidal shallows with low water sup-
tidal channels and backwaters. These are ply. The high-quality and authentic prints are ex-
frequent on the tidal plains, sandy beaches pected in the peritidal sediments formed under
and coastal shallows where the difference in conditions of low water energy, especially those
the level of low tide and high tide is >1 m or containing cyanobacteria (blue-green bacteria
shallow water exposed to strong tidal and blue-green algae) meadows with mud stick-
currents with waves. The current ripples are ing property. Thereafter, gentle tidal currents
excellent indicators of energy and water bring new sediment that fills and covers the total
depth, and if they are asymmetric also can footprints, and gradually the entire surface layer.
indicate deposits transport directions The footprints are preserved in such environ-
(Fig. 5.14). ments excelled by rapid cementation of deposits.
• Wave-formed ripple marks generally forms These footprints of prehistoric era are particu-
in weak currents because of relocating larly significant from the sedimentary and pale-
sand in oscillation motion of water with ontological point (Fig. 5.15).
waves, i.e. in continuous circular motion of Raindrop imprints formed during collision of
water. These types of ripples are large drops of rain on the soft clay, sand, and
distinguished by long, mutually parallel rarely on carbonate mud, which is located above
with arched crests. They are typically the water level. The rain drops can be preserved,
symmetrical. The most common ripples are only if, new sediment starts to deposit quickly,
on the tidal plains, beach front or tidal while there has been no erosion or destruction
zone and lake beaches and are common in of the impression. Prints of the rain drops are
lagoons, sandy beaches below low-tide, excellent indicators of environmental conditions
supratidal zone and lakes. and precipitation since they appear only in con-
tinental environments or muddy supratidal
Footprints of reptiles, particularly large
Jurassic and Cretaceous reptiles, the dinosaurs,

FIGURE 5.14 Shallow current ripple bed forms on are-

nitic sandstone, Kolhan Group, Chaibasa, Jharkhand, India. FIGURE 5.15 Dinosaur footprints at Istra, the largest
Source: Prof. Joydip Mukhopadhyay. peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Croatia.

All these print impressions are authentic indi- erosion of strong vortex currents or turbulent
cators of the youngling direction of stratigraphic flows. The vortex casts are good forms for deter-
column. mining the paleotransport directions and for
reconstruction of hydrodynamic conditions in Lower Bedding Plane Structures the environment of deposition.
There will be many types of inorganic forms Erosional channels are erosional forms created
on the lower face of the plane surface. These with the removal of sediment further into the
will play significant role in determining the depositional area from the portion of one or
sequence of layers. These forms are found most more layers. The channels have width ranging
commonly in turbidite deposits. They are between few decimeters and tens of meters and
divided into two genetic groups: length between few decimeters and hundreds
of meters. The most common occurrences are
1. Traces of erosion resulting from the action of
by erosion of clay or marl bottom.
turbidity currents or vortex flow.
The most common traces of moving object on
2. Traces of erosion resulting from the action of
bottom are signs of cutting, rolling and pulling.
various items that are carried by water currents.
Groove marks are created when sharp object is
The most common signs of flow, among the dragged across the surface of muddy substrate.
traces of erosion, are flute casts, vortex casts The length varies between few decimeters and
and erosional channels, and are described. few meters, width between one-tenth millimeter
Flute casts are triangular or spindle-shaped and several centimeters, and height between
protrusions on the lower surface of sandstone several millimeters. The groove marks usually
bed. The flow of input vortex currents is more appear in groups with parallel arranged linear
protruding on a narrow front than on the wider prominence. In some places, it gradually trans-
part of the back, which gradually disappears on forms into traces of pulling. The marks occur as
the flat surface. The flutes are narrow, elongated, objects scours out a groove along the top of the
straight, parallel ridges generally consisting of bed, which is later filled by coarser sediment.
till, sand and clay. The length of the flute casts The groove marks are good indicators for deter-
generally ranges between 2 and 10 cm, and mining direction of paleotransport.
sometimes to 1 m. The casts occur in filling of de- Impact casts are short, narrow, asymmetrical
pressions on the muddy bottom at the beginning shapes embossed on the lower surface. The input
of movement. The depressions are filled by end is thin and gradual, and the output end is
sandy sediment and lithifaction on the lower sur- wide with the sharp end. The lower surface looks
face of sandstone on muddy bottom. It will like small wedges. The casts appear in groups,
remain as protrusion which has greater convex- often with a different mutual orientation. The
ity on the input than on the output of the result- impact casts are formed by filling cavities in
ing erosion and sand sediment-filled valleys. The the muddy bottom, which has left with current
flute casts can easily determine the direction of carried object into the bottom (Fig. 5.16).
the paleotransport. Bounce marks appear on the lower surface as a
Vortex casts are spiral protrusions on the lower straight series of small bumps arranged of
surface of sandstone. The casts have shapes approximately equal, millimeter to centimeter
similar to the spiral end of snail home. The di- intervals. The bounce marks occur in filling of
mensions and shapes are various. The height of depressions or mold, formed on the clay bottom
protrusions generally varies from 1 to 3 cm, when object is carried by vortex current. It makes
and their diameter between 6 and 20 cm. The contact with clay bottom and then bounces back
casts are sand-filled depressions formed by up in the turbidity flow.

FIGURE 5.16 Conceptual diagram showing the formation of impact casts in soft sediments. Forms Created by Underwater be formed by underwater landslides of large di-

Slides and with the Destruction mensions with complex structure. In a way it is
of the Layers created by slip or sliding of massive sediments.
Slump or structure of underwater sliding is The slumps occur along the low-angle inclined
created by underwater sliding and the destruc- slopes in sedimentary rocks. Therefore, the inci-
tion of layers. It occurs in yet unrelated or semi- dence indicates the mechanism either on the syn-
plastic sediments due to the increasing angle of sedimentary tectonics such as subsidence of
inclination of the bottom. The structure repre- basin bottom and/or uplift of the coast and the
sents the occurrence of more or less deformed mainland, or deposition in sedimentary body of
layers, often interrupted with continuity of one inclined sides, e.g. the case on the front of deltas
undeformed layer between mutually straight fans (Fig. 7.3; Section 7.2.2).
and parallel (concordant) arranged layers. The Bioturbation is a common name for all kinds of
mechanism works in sliding of one or more changes in unrelated sediments and soils, formed
layers of partially lithified or semiplastic sedi- by the activities of organisms. It depicts the
ments on clay substrate. The sliding takes place network of soils and sediments or forms as a
by gravity at an angle of inclination of the bottom result of the life activities (moving, digging,
of only 1e3 (Fig. 5.17). The slumps are common crawling, eating, and making dwellings) left in
in sediments formed by rapid and intense accu- unbound or poorly consolidated sediments by
mulation of deposits, such as deltas and canyons, plans and animals. The organisms itself are not
slopes of carbonate platform as well as upper preserved. The largest part of such forms occurs
parts of submarine slopes. The slump scars can immediately after deposition and in the first

FIGURE 5.17 Conceptual diagram showing the mechanism of slump structure.


phase of consolidation of deposits. The extremely 2. Grains or clasts with grain-support cemented
soft organisms still possess plenty of water and into solid rock, after elimination of mineral
oxygen. The bioturbation causes destruction or cements in intergranular pores.
transformation of primary bedding formed in 3. Matrix-support or mud-support is
sediment with inorganic material. Many of the characterized by the matrix in which the
primary internal textural and structural features grains of clasts are not touching each other
may disappear by bioturbation process, e.g. hor- (“swim” in the matrix). Lithification of
izontal, oblique or sinuous lamination, slope, matrix is resulting in solid rock of matrix-
flaser and wavy bedding. support.
Bioturbation is very common incidence under 4. A general example of the structural
slow deposition and helps in the interpretation components of a sedimentary rock with grain-
of conditions and environment of deposition. support is consisting of grains and matrix.
There is no possibility of inhabiting sediments
In the mineralogical and petrological terms,
with organisms, especially mud eaters, in rapid
the grain that built sediments and/or sedimen-
accumulation of deposits. The bioturbation sedi-
tary rocks can be of different composition so
ments are indicators of slow sedimentation with
that the grains are the following:
small amounts of input and sedimentation of
detritus in oxidative conditions. 1. Individual mineral
2. Fragments of rock
5.3.2. Packing of Grains 3. The whole skeleton or shell
The sedimentary rocks, especially clastic and 4. Fragments of skeletons or shells (bioclast)
many biochemical and chemical carbonate rocks, 5. Accumulations of carbonate minerals formed
have grains, matrix, cement and pores. The by chemical, biochemical and organic
grains in clastic sediments are clasts, i.e. solid processes of abstraction from the seawater
substances remaining after the physical and or freshwater.
chemical weathering of older rocks. The clasts
The mineral grains and rock fragments of sil-
are deposited after the transfer by water, ice or
icate composition consisting of quartz and other
wind, as clastic sediments on land, in freshwater
silicate minerals are usually covered by the com-
or sea. The grains (particles) in the biochemical
mon name, siliciclastic grains or siliciclastic
and chemical carbonate rocks are the primary
detritus. The rock fragments of carbonate compo-
structural components formed by deposition of
sition, i.e. fragments of older limestone and dolo-
skeletal and nonskeletal carbonate materials
mites, unlike to the siliciclastic detritus, are
within the depositional area. The grains in clastic
commonly referred to as carbonate lithic clasts or
and biochemical carbonate sediments are the
carbonate lithic detritus.
basic structure of rocks or “float” within the
The whole skeletons or shells may not be lith-
dense mass, known as the matrix. If the grains
ified on its habitat or in the location of growth.
or clasts are touching each other and support
Their debris (bioclasts) are often matured as fos-
one another, it is called grain-support (Fig. 5.18).
sil detritus, or specify a skeletal detritus (for the
The various matrix-support systems are the
whole skeletons or shell), and as bioclastic
detritus (for fossil debris). However, the whole
1. Clast-support of unlithified deposit is skeletons, shells and their debris, as the primary
characterized by grains (and clasts) in mutual carbonate structural components in petrology
contact. There is no matrix or cement in the and sedimentology of carbonate rocks, have
intergranular pores. often a common name “carbonate detritus”.

FIGURE 5.18 Conceptual models showing the packing of grains, cementation, matrix formation and lithification of clastic
sediment. The various matrix-support systems are: (A) clast-support of unlithified deposit without matrix or cement in the
intergranular pores, (B) grains or clasts with grain-support cemented into solid rock, (C) matrix- or mud-support with the
grains “swim” in the matrix, and (D) finally, common example of sedimentary rock with grain-support of grains and matrix.

These grains usually undergo transport and Cement is the mineral substance secreted in
deposition under the influence of ocean currents, pores between grains after their deposition. It is
waves or tides. postsedimentation component originated from
Matrix is the fine detritus, transported and secretion of mineral substances from pore solu-
deposited together with the grains tions. The pores are free spaces between the
(Fig. 5.18(C)). The matrix of sandstones is typi- grains in which there is no matrix or cement
cally silt or clay. The same in conglomerates (Fig. 5.18(A) and (D)). The free spaces are usually
and breccias are fine sand, silt and clay. In lime- filled with gases (carbon dioxide, methane,
stone sediments the matrix is lime mud which is hydrogen sulfide, and nitrogen dioxide) and/
limestone lithified in micrite. The detritus with or water or oil.
dimensions of <0.030 mm is marked as matrix. The distribution and orientation of grains in
The matrix is placed in the sediment or in the in- the sediment depend on the conditions during
terstices of grain or grains “swim” in it. In the in- transportation, deposition and mechanical
terstices grains, the matrix is usually found with diagenesis, especially compaction or compaction
grain support. The grains or large clasts often due to pressure overlays. The effect of compac-
swim in mud or muddy support (Fig. 5.18(C)). tion is strongest in the clay sediments, and very

weak in large clastic and carbonate sediments. 3. Cryptocrystalline texture with crystals
The sediments can be distinguished into three <0.01 mm and is characteristic of early
main types with regard to the manner of pack- diagenetic dolomite (Fig. 5.66), cherts,
ing, sorting and proportions of different grain radiolarite and diatoms and, also certain
sizes: types evaporite rocks (Fig. 5.69).
1. Clast-support: grains or clasts have mutual
support, i.e. between the coarse grains or
clasts are well sorted by finer (Fig. 5.21) or 5.4. CLASSIFICATION OF
matrix (sediment consisting of pebbles and SEDIMENTS AND SEDIMENTARY
sand). ROCKS
2. Clast-support: grains or clasts have mutual
support, and between large grains are poorly The size of the ingredients plays an extremely
sorted small grains or matrix (sediment has important role for classification of sediments and
polimodal composition). sedimentary rocks, except sediments that are
3. Matrix-support: grains or clasts are not in pure chemical secretions. A common terminol-
mutual support but they “swim” in the matrix ogy, based on grain size of sediments, is qualita-
(Fig. 5.18(C)), i.e. not to have contact matrix in tively indicated for sedimentary rocks in
which they “swim” has polimodal sedimentology and petrology (Table 5.1).
composition (with mud, silt and clay and The grain sizes are widely used after Atter-
contains a grain of sand). berg and Wentworth scale. The Atterberg scale
covers geometric, decimal and cyclical. The
The most important texturalestructural fea-
Wentworth scale encompasses logarithmic and
tures of sedimentary rocks are reflected by the
geometric based on number 2. The Wentworth
ways of packaging, and relations between the
and Atterberg scales are shown in Fig. 5.19.
grains, matrix and cement. The key principles
The Wentworth scale is used in sedimentology
of classification of sedimentary rocks are based
and petrology. The Atterberg scale is usually
on these features. The chemical sedimentary
used in geotechnical, civil engineering, hydroge-
rocks, i.e. recrystallized limestone, dolomite,
ology and engineering geology.
evaporites and some siliceous sediment, are
There are two major genetic groups of sedi-
composed of crystals of chemical origin and
ments and sedimentary rocks and there are
not detrite grain. These rocks have crystalline
several mixed sediments between these two
texture according to the size of the crystal and
main groups:
divided into the following three types:
1. Clastic sediments
1. Macrocrystalline texture with crystals 2. Chemical and biochemical sediments.
>0.1 mm and is especially common in
late-diagenetic dolomite (Fig. 5.67) and TABLE 5.1 Size of Grains in International Language
recrystallized limestone, and is a common
in some types of anhydrite. Greek Latin English
2. Microcrystalline texture with crystal in
Psefit (psephos ¼ gravel) Rudite (rutus ¼ gravel) Gravel
diameter between 0.01 and 0.1 mm and is
common in late-diagenetic dolomite, Psamit (psamos ¼ sand) Arenite (arena ¼ sand) Sand
recrystallized limestone, anhydrite, gypsum Alevrit (alevros ¼ silt) Lutite (lutum ¼ silt) Silt
and some types of chert (Fig. 5.70), radiolarite
Pelite (pelos ¼ clay) Clay
and diatomite.
Wentworth scale Atterberg scale
Size (mm) Name Size (mm) Name

256–∞ Boulder >200 Boulder

64–256 Cobble 60–200 Cobble

4–64 Pebble 20–60 Pebble

2–4 Granule 2–20 Gravel

1–2 Very coarse sand 0.6–2 Coarse sand

0.5–1 Course sand
0.25–0.5 Medium sand 0.2–0.6 Medium sand
125–250 µm Fine sand
Very fine sand 0.06–0.2 Fine sand
62.5–125 µm

3.9–62.5 µm Silt 0.002–0.06 Silt

1/∞–3.9 µm Clay <2 µm Clay

1/∞–1 µm Colloid

FIGURE 5.19 Comparison between Wentworth and Atterberg scale: the former is used in sedimentology and petrology,
and the later for geochemical, civil engineering, hydrogeology and engineering geology.

5.5. CLASTIC SEDIMENTS AND formed after shorter or longer transfer by depo-
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS sition on land, in freshwater or sea are called
“clastic sediments” or “clastic sedimentary
5.5.1. Genesis and Classification rocks”.
of Clastic Sedimentary Rocks The four basic groups of clastic sediments are
(Table 5.2) the following:
Clastic (detrite or mechanical) sediments and
sedimentary rocks are composed of particles, 1. Cataclastic sediments that have been wholly
grains and fragments that resulted from physical or partly formed by the progressive fracturing
and chemical weathering. The physical breakage and comminution of existing rock by a
and destruction of older rocks are exogenous in process known as cataclasis.
origin and especially effective. These are solid 2. Rinsed residues, divided into coarse (rudite),
particles, grains and fragments, i.e. individual medium (arenite) and fine (argillaceous)
particles composed of detrite or mineral grains clastic rocks.
or fragments of rocks, covered by a group 3. Residues are the remains of rocks that could
name “clasts”. Sediments and sedimentary rocks not melt at the weathering and usually consist

TABLE 5.2 Two Main Genetic Groups of Sediments

and Sedimentary Rocks

Clastic sediments

Cataclastic sediments
Rinsed residues
Pyroclastic sediments
Chemical and biochemical sediments

FIGURE 5.20 Rockfall on the Dolomite Mountain cliffs

of very resistant to chemical weathered
with amazing panorama at a vertical height of 2484 m from
minerals (quartz and silicate minerals) or summit, Sellajoch, Val Gardena, South Tyrol, Italy.
autogenous minerals, mainly clay minerals
and aluminum hydroxide.
4. Pyroclastic sediments that are formed by diameter of >2 mm, and dimensions larger
deposition of material of volcanic origin than grains of sands. These are the typical accu-
which is ejected by the eruption of the mulation of debris caused by sudden and rapid
volcano, and that the transfer in air and/or rockfall under the influence of gravity down
water sediment on land, at sea or in the lake the steep slopes and cliffs (stone landslides or
along with the smaller or larger amount of avalanches).
deposition of sedimentary origin, or without Rockfall or rock-fall or debris is accumulation
material sedimentary origin. of freely falling fragmented rocks (blocks) from
a cliff face. The rockfalls are detached by sliding,
toppling, or falling, that falls along a vertical or
5.5.2. Coarse-Grained subvertical cliff, and proceeds down slope by
SedimentsdRudaceous bouncing and flying by rolling on talus or debris
The coarse-grained sediments and sedimen- slopes. It ultimately settles on the land or steep
tary rocks are formed by the accumulation of rock slopes or at the foot of those slopes and is
grain diameter >2 mm. It can be of cataclastic known as “rock-fall” (Fig. 5.20).
origin and/or belong to the coarse-grained Gravel is an unbound accumulation of rocks,
rinsed residue. The coarse-grained clastic sedi- rarely minerals, well-rounded clasts, mostly in
ments have following main types of sediments diameter >2 mm, and variable amounts of grain
and sedimentary rocks: sizes of sand, dust, and sometimes clay, dust
Conglomerate is a firmly linked rock that
mainly consists of well-rounded clasts in dimen-
Unbound Debris Pebbles Till and diamictite
sions of gravel cemented by sand and mud
Bound Breccia Conglomerate Tillite component or rarely without it (Figs 5.21 and
5.22). The boundary between the breccias and
conglomerates with certain types of coarse clas-
Debris are unbound angular clastic sediments, tics may not be sharp and clear. These two types
fragments of rock of more than half have a are of mutual crossings or clasts of particular

FIGURE 5.22 Field photographs of conglomerate con-

sisting of assorted grains and pebbles (rounded, semi-
rounded and angular) of quartz (white), jasper (red) within a
FIGURE 5.21 Conceptual diagram showing type
fine-grained matrix that have become firmly cemented
conglomerate consisting of rounded and semirounded clasts
together from Basal conglomerate, Kolhan Group near
cemented in fine-grain matrix.
Jagannathpur, Jharkhand, India. Source: Prof. Joydip

petrographic composition. The conglomerate

is typically of rounded and semirounded diamictite clay matrix consists of different sili-
shape and the breccia is characteristically of cate minerals formed during glacial crushing
rocks occurring in the form of angular or semi- (pulverization), i.e. decay and fragmentation of
rounded fragments. Some authors use the term rocks. The share of clay matrix in relation to
“breccia-conglomerates” for these clastic rocks. the proportion of rock fragments is very low.
The breccias and conglomerates are divided The blocks present great variability of dimen-
into intraformational and extraformational sions and shapes.
(Table 5.3) with regard to their place of origin.
Till is an accumulation of unbound and tillite Intraformational Breccias
of bound, poorly sorted and nonlayered moraine and Conglomerates
material dominated by fragments of >2 mm size. Intraformational breccias and conglomerates
Such fragments often show well-preserved are coarse-grained clastic sediments formed by
stretch marks and wears on one surface, as a destruction and resedimentation of poorly or
consequence of scraping on the bottom and sides incompletely lithified sediment without signifi-
of rocks through which the glacier moved. Tillite cant transfer of fragments and clasts within the
is characterized by an abundance of fine-grained sedimentary area. Their precipitation occurs
matrix, and is usually dark gray in color. immediately after the destruction of the layer
Diamictite is an extremely poorly sorted rock. and formation of clasts, i.e. in the same strati-
It is composed of blocks of rocks and clay matrix graphic unit. Intraformational breccias and con-
and forms by accumulation and lithifaction of glomerates are usually limited to a narrow
detritus derived from glacial and periglacial pro- sedimentary horizon. It has no significant lateral
cesses, as well as mud or detrite flows in subaer- and vertical distribution. Their origin is strictly
ial and subaqueous conditions. Most of the limited to certain conditions and environments

TABLE 5.3 Genetic Classification of Breccias and Conglomerates

Intraformational Breccias Extraformational Breccias

Black-pebble breccias Cataclastic breccias

Stormy breccias Collapse and emersion breccias
Edgewise breccias Postsedimentary diagenetic breccias
Landslide and slump breccia pyroclastic breccias

Paraconglomerates <15% matrix Orthoconglomerates >15% matrix
Laminated matrix Unlaminated matrix Oligomict Petromict
Laminated conglomeratic Tillite Tllioid Oligomict orthoconglomerate Petromict orthoconglomerate
mudrock <10% unstable >10% unstable

of deposition (Table 5.3). These rocks are mostly of tidal channels and deposit along with other
located within the pelitic sediments and marls, carbonate, clay and sometimes, detritus, forming
often within a very shallow marine limestones black-pebble breccia. The rocks are well isolated
and early diagenetic dolomite of carbonate plat- from the oxidation process due to the rapid
form. These rocks are excellent indicators for covering of new sediments, so as to preserve
identifying changes in the conditions of deposi- their black color.
tion, frequent association with short emergence Stormy breccias and conglomerates or storm-
of deposits above the medium tide level or in tide deposits are a special kind of intraforma-
tidal and supratidal environments exposed to tional breccia or conglomerate. The storm
high water energy, where they are usually breccias form in flooding and accumulation of
deposited in stormy waves.50,51 deposits and fragments of the tidal plain and
Black-pebble breccias (and conglomerates) with the shallowest parts of the lagoon edge or flat
black fragments resulting in resedimentation of low coastline at storm waves and storm tides.
erosion residues reductive black limestone de- Edgewise breccia with flat fragments is a spe-
posits of coastal wetlands, marshes rich in cial type of intraformational breccia, whose
organic matter and pyrite. It typically is located origin is associated with resedimentation of
in the activity of bacteria that reduces sulfates. flat muddy or carbonate-rich sediments. Such
The rock forms by resediments depressions in fragments occur in the superficial parts of the
tidal channels at peritidal, particularly tidal clayey and muddy sediments in their fractured
and shallow subtidal environments. The black desiccation cracks as a consequence of sudden
marshes and ponds gradually change to brackish drying up of deposits on river banks, flood
or freshwater ponds. It may result in sags and plains and edges of lakes or ponds during low
depressions on subtidal zone in areas with hu- water levels. This is particularly common in
mid climates and reductive conditions. The car- the tidal and peritidal zone, and the muddy
bonate sediments at the edges and bottom of and carbonate tidal plains. The desiccation
the ponds and marshes are mostly all-black cracks can easily break down into flat fragments
due to the abundance of organic matters. The in high tides or storm waves that accumulate,
storm or high tidal waves erode and break off usually far from the foundation of the deposi-
pieces. The black pebbles wash into depression tional area.
Mudstone intraformational conglomerates are
composed of spherical, ellipsoidal mud pebbles
of mudstone or muddy limestone. Some pebbles
may show clear traces of plastic deformation,
generally within squeezing initially stronger peb-
bles in softer ones or kneading pebbles in the
compaction. Muddy pebbles form by the destruc-
tion of incomplete lithificated muddy sediments
with increasing water energy (strong tidal cur-
rents and waves, especially storm tides and storm
waves) in the shallowest parts of the depositional
area, i.e. the shallowest of the shallow subtidal
and lower tidal zones. Their relatively frequent
occurrence within the peritidal carbonate sedi-
ments is usually in connection with swallowing FIGURE 5.23 Matrix support breccia composed of rock
and/or sea-level fluctuations. A residue within debris in the form of large angular fragments of limestone
and dolomite in the fine-grained matrix.
the flood plain is related to the erosion action of
the rivers in the rising of the water.
Land-slide and slump breccia results by accu- on the mode of their origin and is divided into
mulation of rock material with translational or the following:
rotational sliding destroying the mass of larger
1. Cataclastic breccias
or smaller fragments in the form of olistostrome
2. Collapse and emersion breccias
and slumps accumulated on land or underwa-
3. Postsedimentary diagenetic breccias
ter at the bottom of the slope. The slump brec-
4. Pyroclastic breccias.
cias occur at the bottom of the submarine
slopes of the accumulation of large amounts
of sediment. It rotates during sliding down EXTRAFORMATIONAL BRECCIAS
the slope and in its base accumulates in the Extraformational breccias are coarse-grained
form of deformed layers. If the deformed sedi- clastic sediments containing clasts resulting in
ments have large dimensions, they are called destruction and resedimentation of older rocks
“mega-slumps”. Some parts of stronger lithified deposited in some other older geological forma-
layers slide down the slope, break and fit into tion. Thus, clasts originate from weathering of
the homogenized plastic deposits making older rocks located outside of formation in
slump breccia. which they are deposited. A good example for
extraformational breccias is “Jelar breccias” Extraformational Breccias whose clasts are deposited during the Oligocene
Breccia is a general term for more or less (w33e23 million years ago) and are formed in
tightly bound clastic rocks composed of angular destruction of limestones and/or dolomites
to semirounded rock debris and cement or deposited during the Jurassic (w200e
matrix (Fig. 5.23). 145 million years ago), Cretaceous (w145e65
Breccias, in geological terminology, are often million years ago) and the PaleoceneeEocene
called by prevailing petrographic type of frag- (w65e32 million years ago). Extraformational
ments. They can be dolomite breccia, limestonee cataclastic breccias contain clasts whose origin
dolomite breccia, etc. The sedimentological and is related to the processes of breaking and crush-
petrological classification of breccias is based ing rocks with the movement of the rock mass

over each other or along with each other, as well and lithified. The clasts constitute special kind
as the landslides and the collapse of the rock of cataclastic breccias.
mass. Rockfall breccias are resulted by cementation of
Tectonic is the most important factor of cata- rock debris which pour down the steep slopes
clastic, because in the tectonic movements, the and accumulate at the base of such slopes in
largest range of rock mass moves along with the form of large rockfall fans. Rockfalls are typi-
enormous energy. Breaking and crushing rocks cally located at the foot of steep cliffs or ravines
in the tectonic movements is strongest on the in between the steep rock and cliffs (Fig. 5.24).
border between two masses that are moving, These breccias are commonly associated along
i.e. along the fault, and in the wrinkling. Small with subaerial spending and strong erosion of
and large pieces of cataclastic rock masses break rocks on a steep relief, along with more or less
and crush during tectonic movements like land- continuous tectonic uplift. The debris may
slides and rock-slip along steep cliffs. These move down the slope and reach in the lake, sea
broken rock pieces are transferred by different or river environments and/or switch to debrite
mechanisms, accumulated in the breccias zone flow.

FIGURE 5.24 Idealized model of depositional facies distribution of Miocene sediments in to oil and gas field at Ladislavci,
Croatia (not to scale).
Debrite breccias are formed by debrites cemen- wrinkling and pulling. These natural and me-
tation, i.e. the rock debris that has been trans- chanical phenomena crush crustal rocks into
ferred down the slope in debrite flows or in fragments and debris; dissolve the minerals later
flow of the rock debris. The debrite breccias by the circulation of pore waters and finally able
contain more matrix, usually silty material with to be cemented in the solid rock as breccias. The
a bit of sandy detritus, unlike rockfall. These solid lithified breccias is formed due precrystalli-
are mainly located at the foot of submarine zations of finely disintegrated calcareous
slopes and submarine canyons (Fig. 5.24). detritus material that has emerged as a product
The debrite breccias often include large clasts of intense tectonic crushing, cataclastic and
of olistolith (Fig. 5.24). An olistolith or olistos- mylonitization. Tectonic breccias or clasts are
trome is a sedimentary deposit composed of a frequently separated by only a system of tectonic
chaotic mass of heterogeneous material, such as cracks and not significantly moved. The tectonic
blocks and mud. It forms by mutual enclosure breccias are characterized by clast support, and
relation of clasts and the abundance of finely dis- the matrix support arises in case of stronger
integrated material or matrix of the same litho- crushing or grinding of rocks into “stone dust”.
logical composition. It may show similar It only happens in the strongest zones of tec-
shapes of bodies and the environment of deposi- tonic crushing or shearing during diagenesis,
tion. The debrite and rockfall breccias are clearly recrystallization and cementation of such small
distinguished from tectonic breccias. Rockfall “stone flour”.
and debrite breccias belong to dolomite and
limestoneedolomite breccias, reservoir rocks EMERSION AND COLLAPSE BRECCIAS
from many oil and gas reservoirs. With the clasts Emersion breccias (karst breccia) are a special
of smaller or larger dimensions, such breccias oc- genetic type of carbonate breccia form in com-
casionally contain larger blocks, even large olis- plex processes of physical and chemical weath-
tolith (Fig. 5.24). The outline of sedimentary ering of limestone in subaerial conditions in the
body of such breccias is wedge-shaped, fan or Earth’s surface or in aerated zone. The emersion
completely irregular, depending on the breccias are located in present-day karst environ-
morphology of the slope or terrain at the bottom ment in irregular shape as inserts or inlays, e.g.
of the cliff. If debrite and/or rockfall debris within the Mesozoic limestones of the Adriatic
plunges into a river or sea, it will be partly or carbonate platform (AdCP). The AdCP is one
completely processed into the gravel and in of the largest Mesozoic carbonate platforms of
turn change to breccia conglomerate or conglom- the Perimediterranean region. The deposits
erate. It contains a different proportion of clasts, comprised a major part of the entire carbonate
already in the river flow or shallow sea, as well succession of the Croatian Karst Dinarides
as marine debris. The breccia conglomerate, con- Mountain chain with thickness up to 8 km and
glomerates of coastal shallows and front beaches age between Middle Permian and Eocene.
are formed by mixing the debrite and/or rockfall Collapse breccias (breccias of dissolution and
material with river sediments, coastal pebbles, collapse) contain cemented clasts created by
shallow-sea carbonate, and fossil detritus. The breaking of layers and rock masses during subsi-
coastal breccia conglomerates are suitable loci dence of layers after partial dissolution of frac-
for oil field, e.g. Ladislavci oil and gas-fields, tured rock mass in the basement (melt breccia),
Drava depression in the south of the Pannonian collapse (collapse breccias) or cracking and
basin, eastern Croatia (Fig. 5.24). crushing of quickly lithified surface part of sedi-
Fault and tectonic breccias are related to the ment in mechanical diagenesis (evaporite
tectonic zone of breaking, faulting, folding, collapse breccias). The collapse breccias are

related to the processes of rock collapse, either orthoconglomerates and paraconglomerates

by erosion or chemical corrosion processes. (Table 5.3).
This is typically the case in karst caves, and in
dissolution of layers of salt or gypsum. This is ORTHOCONGLOMERATES
followed by collapse or subsidence of the roof Orthoconglomerates are firmly cemented
clastic or carbonates rocks with their tearing coarse-grained clastics which are characterized
into blocks and smaller or larger clasts and by clasts support and mainly composed of peb-
collapsing blocks in large corrosion cavity or bles of gravel dimension and not more than
cave. The collapse may occur on the steep cliffs, 15% fine-grained matrix (argillaceous and clayey
composed of two or more different petrographic detritus), and cemented with the chemically
types of rocks differently resistant to erosion or extracted mineral cement (quartz, calcite, opal,
chemical weathering. It is possible, for example, etc.).
the collapse of soft marls or mudstone, and The oligomict and petromict conglomerates
firmly cemented sandstone in flysch or in (Table 5.3) are distinguished by the mineralog-
turbidites. ical and lithological composition of pebbles resis-
tant to wear, i.e. the amount of pebbles and POSTSEDIMENTARY DIAGENETIC grains of quartz, quartzite and chert. Oligomict
(TECTOGENIC-DIAGENETIC) BRECCIAS conglomerates consist of >90% to wear-
Postsedimentary diagenetic breccias form as a resistant pebbles and have simple petrographic
result of strong tectonic crushing of some parts and mineralogical composition; consist of peb-
of the rock mass, and followed by intensive bles and grains of quartzite and chert. The inter-
diagenetic allochemical processes. The signifi- granular pores have relatively high content of
cant features and mechanisms are simultaneous chemical secreted cement. Pebbles and grains
processes including corrosion of the edges and of oligomict conglomerates are the most stable
corners of carbonate fragments, dolomitization remains of intensive spending of large amounts
of limestone fragments, calcitization or dedolo- of older rocks. The rock represents the most
mitization and occasional silicification of dolo- resistant remnants of resedimentation rock
mite fragments. The process further continues debris after several cycles of transportation and
in fine matrix disintegration and the multistep deposition. Therefore, it symbolizes high degree
cementation of primary and secondary pore of sedimentological maturity. The degree of sedi-
with secretion of calcite or ferrocalcite from mentological maturity is determined with con-
pore solution saturated in Ca-bicarbonate. tent of the most resistant components as a
Pyroclastic breccias are composed of coarse result of several cycles of resedimentation. Peb-
clasts, originate from volcanic eruptions and bles of chert may be the remains of wear large
accumulate on the land, in freshwater or marine masses of limestone containing lenses, nodules
environments, after a short or longer transporta- and concretions of chert, quartz and quartzite
tion. These breccias are more fully discussed as pebbles, remains of granite, gneiss and other
part of pyroclastic sediments (Section 5.6). metamorphic rocks that are criss-crossed with
veins of quartz, zones or lenses of quartzite, or Extraformation Conglomerates remains of quartzite inserts in phyllite, or chlo-
Conglomerate is a solid rock formed in rite schists.
cementation and lithifaction of clasts with Orthoquartzose conglomerates generally do
angular shape, i.e. pebble sizes of gravel not contain pebbles larger in diameter
(>2 mm). The mutual relations of pebbles and (8e10 cm) and do not appear in thick layers. It
grains, matrix and cement distinguish between is characterized by a well sorting, a high degree
of roundness and clasts support. The grain sizes grains in the interspaces between pebbles
of orthoquartzose conglomerates make a (Fig. 5.25). It mainly belongs to river sediments
gradual transition in coarse quartz sandstone. (alluvial fan), delta (delta head, the slope of the
It is typically found as thin layers within delta), and coarse-grained, rarely medium gran-
coarse-quartz sandstone of alluvial deposits or ular turbidites.
marine beaches deposited by high energy of
Petromict conglomerates hold more than 10% Paraconglomerates are a special type of con-
of the chemically wear unstable pebbles and glomerates with a muddy or matrix support
grains of various petrographic and mineralogical containing more than 15% clay-dusty (muddy
compositions. The rocks are characterized by or pelite) matrix whose share is often higher in
clasts support, and in the intergranular pores relationship to the total volume of pebbles sizes
have excreted chemogenic cement: calcite, of gravel (Table 5.3). These are in reality the sed-
quartz, opal, and dolomite. The petromict con- iments, which are not incurred in ordinary con-
glomerates are mixtures of metastable pebbles ditions of transportation and deposition of
(clasts) of different types of igneous, sedimen- clastic material, but mostly a combination of
tary and metamorphic rocks and grains primar- iceberg transport and water floods in rapid
ily of quartz, feldspar and mica. The rocks melting of glaciers, sudden torrential flows at
are usually dominated by one petrographic the foot of the mountains (piedmont zone),
type of pebbles, such as limestone (Fig. 5.25) or debrite flows or alluvial fans in sudden floods.
crystalline schist and quartzite of high degree This type of conglomerate has significantly
of metamorphism. This is the most common lower distribution with respect to its other
and widespread type of conglomerate. Petromict counter parts.
conglomerates are characterized by relatively
large pebbles, in some cases with a diameter 5.5.3. Medium Granular Clastic
>20 cm, as well as poor level of sorted sand
SedimentsdArenaceous Rocks
The arenaceous rocks include all those classic
rocks with particle sizes range generally between
2 and 1/16 mm. The most common arenites are
graywacke and sandstone followed by calcaren-
ites (carbonates and limestone), oolitic iron ores
and glauconite beds. The Composition and Distribution

of Sandy Sediments
The clastic medium granular sediments are
represented by sands as unbound sediments
and sandstones as solid rocks. Sands and sand-
stones are sediments that are predominantly
composed of detrite grains sizes of sand, i.e. a
grain in diameter between 0.063 and 2 mm. The
FIGURE 5.25 Petromict orthoconglomerate predomi- rocks are characterized typically by dominance
nantly composed of perfectly rounded pebbles of Jurassic of sand-size grains with minor share of
and Cretaceous limestone. powder-size clay particles and of tiny gravel.

The primary material, grains of sand, are derived Fossil components or fossil detritus include
from weathering component of any rock. The the fossil remains of flora and fauna in the
mineral composition of sands and sandstone form of whole shells and/or skeletons or their
can be very different and complex depending fragments known as bioclasts. The fossil detritus
on the parent rocks, manner of weathering, in sandy sediments may originate from resedi-
transfer and deposition. The clasts that make mentation from older rocks or carbonate
up sand residue or sandstone include mineral detritus. It may be intrabasinal belong to
grains and rock fragments of siliciclastic and car- planktonic and benthic organisms residing
bonate composition, as well as fossil remains of within the depositional area. The redeposited
the skeleton and shells of organisms, i.e. fossil fossil detritus from older Baden corallinacea-
detritus. Siliciclastic components include all bryozoa ridge rocks are often found in
grains of quartz, silicate minerals and rock frag- Sarmatian and Pannonian sandstones and
ments containing quartz and silicate minerals intrabasinal fossil components (bioclasts of cor-
(all clasts, muddy and clay matrix), and ingredi- allinacea, bryozoa, echinoderms, and molluscs)
ents left after the physical and chemical weath- in Baden biocalcarenites sandstones of Panno-
ering of silicate minerals and rocks, which are nian basin.
transferred to precipitation area from land The essential ingredients of sands and sand-
(terrigenous components). Carbonate compo- stones are quartz, feldspar and rocks frag-
nents or carbonate detritus are carbonated ments  micas, carbonate and clay minerals,
grains: mostly fragments of limestone, dolomite and heavy minerals (density >2.85 g/cm3).
and fragments of calcite and dolomite minerals Certain types of sandstone can contain a sub-
remaining from wear of carbonate rocks and stantial proportion of muddy matrix, fossil
minerals, primarily calcite, dolomite and siderite detritus or glauconite.
veins. Carbonate detritus in its origin may be The salient features of sands and sandstones
either of the following: are the following:

1. Extrabasinal arises from the physical and 1. Quartz is the most abundant element on the
chemical weathering of older limestone and sands and sandstone derives from the wear of
dolomite on the mainland (terrigenous acid igneous rocks, crystalline schist and older
components). sandstone.
2. Intrabasinal belongs to ooids, oncoids and 2. Feldspars are particularly abundant
pellets formed in the surrounding shallows or ingredients of some sands and sandstone,
even intraclasts that originate from the especially molasse type, whose detritus
destruction of carbonate rocks within the derived from severe physical wear and rapid
depositional area and are nearly as old as deposition at the foot of mountain massifs
the sand in which deposited. It is often the built from neutral and acidic igneous rocks
case in Badenian sediments in Pannonian and gneisses.
basin, east-central Europe, in which 3. Excerpts of quartz and feldspars originate
siliciclastic material derived from weathering from wear of mafic intrusive and
of older crystalline and lower Miocene rocks intermediate extrusive (volcanic) igneous
on mainland. The intrabasinal carbonate rocks, numerous sedimentary rocks (in
detritus from the destruction of reef Badenian particular, siltstone, sandstone, chert,
limestone from coastal shallows and limestone and dolomite), as well as
underwater reefs. These are calcarenaceous many metamorphic rocks (especially
sandstones (Section quartzite, phyllite, mica schist and gneiss)
are primary ingredients of many sands and Arenite Sandstones
sandstone. or Arenaceous Rocks
4. Micas, especially muscovite, are regular Pure sandstones or arenites are classified in to
ingredients of nearly all sands and five types according to the proportion of the ma-
sandstones, usually with a small share. jor components of quartz, feldspar and rock
5. Clay minerals and chlorite in some types of fragments:
sandstone (graywacke) are present in large
amounts and in some types (arenaceous
1. Quartz arenites containing >95% quartz.
rocks) in minor amounts or even completely
2. Lithic arenites contain <75% quartz and rock
fragments has more than feldspar.
Sandstones are divided in two main groups 3. Arkosic arenites contain <75% quartz and
according to relative content of grain sizes of feldspar has more than fragments of rock.
sand and mud matrix: pure sandstone or are- 4. Sublithic arenites contain quartz between 75%
nites and impure sandstones or graywacke and 95% and rock fragments have more than
(Fig. 5.26). feldspar.

(A) (B)
Arenite Graywacke

Cement Matrix

Quartz Quartz
Quartz Quartz
arenite 95 95
75 graywacke
Subarkose Sublithic arenites

Arkosic Lithic Feldspathic Lithic

arenite arenite graywacke graywacke
0 0
Feldspar 50 Rock Feldspar 50 Rock
fragments fragments
Arenite sandstones Graywacke sandstones

FIGURE 5.26 Conceptual diagrams showing the basic classification of sandy sandstones as (A) arenites, and (B) gray-
wacke with further subdivisions.

5. Subarkoses contain between 75% and 95% distinct type of sandstone attains the highest de-
quartz and feldspar has more than fragments gree of purity and sedimentological maturity,
of rock. considering the unique mineralogical composi-
tion, and the ingredients belong to the most
Quartz arenites contain a high proportion
stable grains. Sand grains are remaining after
(>95%) of well-sorted and rounded detrite
an intense chemical weathering and the long
quartz grains in association with stable accessory
transfer from the source rocks to the place of
minerals and rock fragments as well as quartz,
deposition. The final products go by strong and
opal or calcite cement (Figs 5.27 and 5.28). This
long-term chemical and physical weathering,
abrasion and sorting of debris, often after several
cycles of resedimentation. The most resistant
detrite grains, mainly of quartz and rarely frag-
ments of quartzite, remain stable even after pass-
ing more cycles of wear, transfer and deposition
of sediments.
Lithic arenites are the frequent and most wide-
spread type of sandstone in the lithosphere. It
contains up to 75% quartz and more rock frag-
ments than feldspars (Fig. 5.26(A)). These are
immature sandstones, which include many
chemically and physically unstable rock frag-
ments. In the lithic and sublithic arenites rock
FIGURE 5.27 Laminated quartz arenite (sandstone), fragments, quartz and feldspars grains are
composed of þ90% detrital quartz from Srisailam Forma- generally angular or only a little rounded, and
tion, Chitrial, Andhra Pradesh, India. Source: Prof. Joydip never well-rounded. The constituent minerals
also contain a smaller amount of slips detrite
mica, mainly muscovite and biotite. These min-
erals are usually cemented with calcite cement,
and sometimes quartz or opal. Lithic arenites
as well as lithic graywacke contain rock frag-
ments, mostly of limestone and dolomite, and
known by a special name “calclithite”. They are
the common type of sandstone in the tertiary.
Sublithic arenites are a transitional sandstone
type between lithic arenites and quartz arenites.
It is comprised 5e25% of rock fragments and
75e95% of quartz. The feldspars fraction is lower
than the percentage of rock fragments
(Fig. 5.26(A)).
Arkosic arenites are matrix poor sandstones
mostly composed of quartz (75%), and feldspar
which is more than rock fragments
FIGURE 5.28 Photomicrograph of thin section of quartz (Fig. 5.26(A)) and is usually cemented by fines
arenite comprising of þ90% quartz (q), chert (Ch) and minor of quartz, calcite and feldspars (Fig. 5.29). Feld-
accessory minerals in layered form. Source: Prof. Sukanta De. spars can be completely fresh, and usually
The arenites are comparatively of low cost
depending on grain size, color, size of blocks
and quality, and widely used for constructional
purposes. The common uses are as building ma-
terial for domestic houses, palaces, temples, ca-
thedrals, mosque, ancient forts, monuments
and minarets (Fig. 5.30), ornamental fountains,
statues, roof tops, grindstone, blades and other
equipments. Graywacke or Wackes

Graywacke is a variety of impure sandstones
and is generally characterized by its hardness,
dark color, and poorly sorted angular grains of
quartz, feldspar, and small rock of lithic
FIGURE 5.29 Arkosic arenite: medium to fine angular to
subrounded grains of quartz (q) and feldspar (microcline
“m”), cemented by silica and little interstitial sericitic (s)
matrix with extensive sericitization of feldspar grains (s) at
Proterozoic Kaladgi basin, Karnataka, India. Source: Prof.
Sukanta De.

belong to potassium-rich alkali feldspar (micro-

cline) and acid plagioclase (albite and oligo-
clase). The colors of arkosic arenites are
reddish, reddish brown, pink or rarely light
red. The reddish and pink colors are derived
from pink microcline or hematite and limonite.
In addition to quartz and feldspar arkosic are-
nites and subarkoses include detrite mica
(muscovite and biotite), which are typically ori-
ented parallel to the layers.
Mineral composition and structure of feld-
spathic arenites clearly indicate that the parent
rocks from which detritus emerge are granites
and/or gneisses. It also indicates that the orig-
inal rocks are extensively consumed in terms of
steep terrain and cold or arid climates where
chemical wear of feldspars was limited or pre-
vented by rapid transport and deposition.
Subarkoses are feldspathic sandstones with
the mutual proportions of quartz and feldspars FIGURE 5.30 The Qutab Minar, a 72.5 m high, 379 stairs
five story victory tower is located at UNESCO World Heri-
make the transition from arkosic to quartz are-
tage Site, Delhi, India. It was built in 1193 AD by Qutab-Ud-
nites. The share of quartz varies between 75% Din-Aibak, the first Muslim Sultan of Delhi. It is the highest
and 95%, and contains more feldspars than stone tower in India, made from red and buff sandstone and
rock fragments (Fig. 5.26(A)). famous for its architectures.

shares 20e25% of all sandstone. Graywackes

are classified in to three groups according to
the proportion of main components of quartz,
feldspar and rock fragments (Fig. 5.26(B)):
1. Lithic graywacke containing <95% quartz
and more rock fragments than feldspar.
2. Feldspathic graywacke containing <95%
quartz and more feldspar than rock
3. Quartz graywacke containing >95% quartz.
Lithic graywacke are matrix-rich sandstones
that with the quartz (up to 95%) contain more
FIGURE 5.31 Dark color graywacke with poorly sorted rock fragments than feldspars (Figs 5.26(B) and
grains set in a compact fine clay/muddy matrix showing 5.31). Lithic graywacke belongs to the group of
graded bedding structure at Zawar, India. sandstones of low level of maturity due to large
amounts of matrix, particularly clay minerals,
fragments set in a compact fine clay and muddy illite, and metastable fragments of rock. The
matrix (Figs 5.26(B), 5.31 and 5.32). The term rocks are characterized by a poor sorting, and
graywacke (from the German “graywacke”) in the dark gray to dark green color due to clayechlor-
geological literature was first enacted in the eigh- ite matrix and high content of dark rock frag-
teenth century, for the dark gray, solid lithified ments. The rocks may be dominated by debris
poorly sorted sandstone in Hartz, Germany, of volcanic rocks (diabase, spilite, keratophyre,
which contain many angular fragments of rocks, dacite and porphyry), followed by fragments of
grains of quartz and clayesericiteechlorite ma- schist of low and intermediate level of metamor-
trix that comes from spending of unstable rock phosis (slates, phyllite, quartzesericite, mica
fragments. Graywacke in the Earth’s rocky crust schist and quartzite) and sedimentary rocks
is a very widespread type of sandstone and (cherts, siltstone, shales and sandstones). Quartz
is generally the most abundant element in the
sand fraction of detritus and share is generally
higher than 50%. Feldspars generally contain
only acidic to neutral plagioclase with little of
Lithic graywacke matrix forms by synsedi-
mentary muddy and/or clayey detritus (proto-
matrix) which is converted into a dense
mixture of chlorite, sericite and quartz (orthoma-
trix) during the diagenetic processes. This is
typical of many Paleozoic and Mesozoic lithic
graywacke. However, part of the chloritee
sericite matrix can come from diagenetic changes
of unstable rock fragments.
FIGURE 5.32 Photomicrograph of lithic-graywacke Feldspathic graywacke matrix contains a consid-
composed of angular quartz grains, fragments of quartzite, erable amount of feldspar and rock fragments in
crystalline schist, and clay matrix. addition to quartz (up to 95%). The proportion of
feldspars can vary in wide limits and is always limestone grains of intrabasinal origin exceeds
greater than the percentage of rock fragments 50%. The new rock is limestone biocalcarenite
(Fig. 5.26(B)). In some variations of feldspathic type.50,51
graywacke, feldspars are even more abundant The fossil detritus in calcarenaceous sand-
than quartz. Detrite micas (muscovite and bio- stones are mostly shell of benthic foraminifers,
tite) are often present. Matrix of feldspathic gray- echinoderms skeletal debris, corallinacea, bryo-
wacke is similar to that of lithic graywacke, zoa, molluscs and gastropods. In general, calcar-
generally thick fine-to-microcrystalline mixture enaceous sandstones are cemented with calcite,
of clay, chlorite, sericite, quartz and carbonate and occasionally may also contain fine-grained
minerals (often siderite), and pyrite. Clay min- clayeyecalcareous (marly) matrix.
erals, especially kaolinite group, originate from Green sandstones contain a considerable
chemical weathering of kaolinitization of feld- amount, and in some places more than 50% of
spar (Section Feldspathic graywacke spherical, oval beads of glauconite accumula-
represent much less common type of sandstone tions of material or a mixture of glauconite, chlo-
in relation to the lithic graywacke, quartz gray- rite, smectite and seladonite, in addition to
wacke are very rare type of sandstone. siliciclasts (quartz, feldspars, rock fragments,
and mica). These grains are distinctly green or Mixed or Hybrid Sandstones dark green color, and the sandstones have been
Sands and sandstones which, in addition to named as green sandstones. Glauconitization is a
quartz, feldspar, silicate rock fragments and very slow process. Green glauconitic grains
mica, contain a substantial proportion of detritus forms by glauconitization processes in marine
chemical and/or biochemical origin or materials environments under low reductive conditions
of other origin, are not included in the standard at normal salinity and low speed of deposition
classification of sandstone. These rocks of new over a very long time, say several hundred thou-
composition belong to a special group of sand- sand years. The parent materials for the origin of
stone. This particular group consists of mixed green glauconitic grain are biotite, pellets, wrap-
or hybrid sandstones that includes different cal- ped grains, foraminifers, volcanic glass and vol-
carenaceous, green and phosphate sandstones. canic ash that undergo diagenetic changes.
Calcarenaceous sandstones are the genetic Phosphate sandstones are siliciclastic sand-
groups of mixed hybrid clastic and chemical stones that include calcium phosphate (apatite)
and biochemical rocks. It is composed of a or contain a substantial proportion of phosphate
mixture of grain (>50% siliciclastic or quartz, detritus or phosphate ooids as cementing
feldspar, rock fragments, and mica) and lime- material.
stone grain of chemicalebiochemical in origin
(10e50% bioclasts, fossils, intraclasts, pellets, 5.5.4. Fine Granular Clastic
ooids and oncoids). Calclithite that belongs to
either lithic graywacke or lithic arenite contains
fragments of older limestone and/or dolomite. Pelite is clayey fine-grained clastic sediment
Calcarenaceous sandstones, with siliciclasts, or sedimentary rock, i.e. mud or a mudstone.
contain a significant proportion of fossil debris
and ooids and/or oncoids and pellets. The Classification of Pelitic Sediments
mixed rocks gradually change to biocalcarenite The fine-grain clastic sediments or pelite
limestone with the increase of limestone grains mainly consist of silt and clay with a grain size
of intrabasinal origin. It will no longer remain of <0.063 mm (Table 5.1; Fig. 5.19). There are
as calcarenaceous sandstone if the share of several different types of pelitic sediments

TABLE 5.4 Classification of Pelitic Sediments on the Basis of Mutual Interest of Silt and Clay
Silt 100e66% 66e33% 33e0%
Clay 0e33% 33e66% 66e100%
Unrelated Silt Mud Clay

Related Homogeneous Siltstone Mudstone Claystone

Lamination or fissility Silt shale Mud shale Clay shale
Slates Quartz slate Slate

according to the proportion of silt and clay, the derived from the diagenesis of kaolinite by
degree of lithifaction and the features, as given chemical weathering of feldspar. Smectite (mont-
in Table 5.4. Pelite sediments containing more morillonite) group of clay minerals contain up to
than two-third silt components are divided ac- 20% water and absorb Ca and Mg. Clay and
cording to the degree of lithifaction on the pow- claystone mainly composed of this group of
der or as a loose silt and siltstone as related to clay minerals and are called bentonites, and
sediments. If related or lithified rocks show lami- form as a result of alteration of acidic tuffs and
nation, therefore are not homogeneous, it is volcanic glass (Section 5.6.3). Kaolinite group of
termed as leafy siltstone. Similarly, pelite sedi- clays is typical for kaolinite rich or pure kaolinite
ments that contain more than two-third clay clay known as kaolin (Fig. 2.16). Clays containing
component, given on the degree of lithifaction, kaolinite group of clay minerals are character-
known under the name of the clay, as an un- ized by a light or milky white color and in con-
bound, and claystone as bound rocks. If their lith- tact with water become remarkably plastic.
ified version features laminated structure, it is These minerals are used as a highly valued raw
called clay shale. Pelite sediments, which contain material in ceramic production and with a higher
between one-third and two-third silt and clay proportion of powder in the manufacture of
components, are divided into the “mud” as the bricks and tiles. Clay and claystone rich in
loose sediment and “mudstone” as a solid rock kaolinite group minerals precipitate in fresh-
and in the case of lamination is called mud shale. water and not in marine environments because
Loess is a special kind of siltstone of Aeolian kaolinite quickly transforms into complex clay
origin and the marls are mixed or hybrid rocks minerals in seawater. The basic characteristic of
consisting of clay and carbonate, mainly calcite, the clay with water is to become plastic, can
component with variable share of powder. knead and shape, after drying and firing to
retain shape. This makes them perfect for pot- CLAY AND CLAYSTONE tery, porcelain, ceramic products, sculptures,
Clay and claystone generally contain predom- tile and brick.
inantly one of the following three groups of min-
erals: illite, smectite (montmorillonite) and SILT AND SILTSTONE
kaolinite group and a smaller or larger propor- Silt is loose pelite sediment and siltstone is pelite
tion of chlorite and rare glauconite. Chlorites rocks, containing >66% silt grain size (particle size
and glauconite in claystones occur during diage- 0.004e0.063 mm). Siltstones are rocks, according
netic processes. to granulometric measurements, chemical compo-
Illite mineral group is typical of the marine sition and texturalestructural features, that make
clay deposits. Illite, in the claystones, is mainly the transition from fine-grained sandstone in the
mud and clay rocks. The dominant component of of detritus particles and the chemical diagenetic
siltstone is angular grains of quartz, significantly processes. The essential ingredients are clay min-
associated with the tiny grains of feldspar and erals and illite, quartz, significant amount of
mica flakes, and up to 33% clay. Some types of silt- feldspars, chlorite and sometimes carbonates.
stone containing a substantial amount of carbon- The share of clay minerals, quartz, feldspars,
ate, mainly calcite cement or fine-grained chlorite, muscovite and carbonate is an impor-
carbonate detritus (carbonate mud deposited tant factor in the degree of lithifaction and shale
along with grains of silt size), and such a rock is laminations. The young (Tertiary) shales prevail
called calcareous siltstone. The calcite cement can illite, kaolinite and smectite (montmorillonite).
be paved with authigenic quartz, opal or chalced- The older shales typically contain 20e30%
ony, or sometimes mineral binder which origi- quartz, 5e30% detrite feldspars and 15e35%
nated from the diagenetic processes of clay minerals of a complex group of illiteesmectitee
minerals, i.e. sericite, chlorite and illite (Section muscovite, kaolinite, chlorites, carbonates, Siltstones are generally massive, thickly oxides, hydroxides of iron, organic matter and
layered, strongly lithified, homogeneous, some- sulfides. In shales of the Paleozoic age or in those
times horizontally or obliquely laminated rocks. at depths >3e4 km, the proportion of typical
Siltstones are often represented and deposited clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite
together with the sludges, mainly in lacustrine group) is insignificant because of their transition
and marine basins. processes in the diagenetic chlorates and sericite
or muscovite (Section SHALE AND MUDSTONE The shales can have different colors due to the
Shales are thinly laminated fine-grained pelite content of organic matter and oxides of some
clastic rock composed predominantly of silici- metals Black shales usually contain organic mat-
clastic materials by granulometric composition ter (carbon) and/or pyrite and are formed in
of mixtures of clays and particles size of powder, reducing conditions. Red color of shale is the
or silt. Shales can be grouped as clay and mud result of high content of ferric oxide, mainly he-
shale based on the mutual shares of particles matite, and refers to the oxidative conditions
(clay and particles of powder). Shale laminations during wear and sedimentation, which predom-
are not always just a consequence of the way of inates in continental depositional environments.
deposition. The deposition is not exclusively Green shales contain glauconites and chlorine
related to synsedimentary processes. The thin and come from moderate reducing environ-
laminations of most of the shales originated dur- mental conditions.
ing earlier geological periods are the result of Oil shales (Fig. 5.33) contain a high proportion
mechanical diagenetic compaction processes of kerogen (mixture of organic chemical com-
occurring due to high pressure at greater depths pounds) and other naphthenes, and are carriers
of covering, which leads to the destruction of of potential reservoirs of raw materials or are pe-
loose packed structure of particles “house of troleum source rocks. The term oil shales is used
cards” in plan-parallel order (Section, for all laminated pelite sediments, and also for
Fig. 5.38). laminated marls and dolomitic limestone, from
Shales are the most common sedimentary which oil can be extracted by heating. Oil shales
rocks in the Earth’s crust. It occurs in lithifaction are dark gray to black color due to the high con-
and complex diagenesis of water-rich mud and tent of naphthenes and other kerogen.
powder-clay sediments (Fig. 5.38). Mineral Oil shales generally belong to the lake and
composition of shale is diverse and variable. marine sediments and occur in protected anaer-
Shales form by combination of the composition obic low-energy lake, river, delta and marine

minerals between 10% and 20%. An important

feature of loess is its extremely high porosity,
typically being 40e60%. The pores of loess retain
water due to capillary forces, enrich with Ca
hydrogen carbonate in the periods of drought
and secrete calcite which cements grains of
dust and clay particles. The enriched solutions
typically circulate only along easily permeable
parts of loess, and calcite secretes from the pores.
The pores water cannot uniformly rise by capil-
lary forces or just secreted around some of the
carbonate grains. All these limitations strongly
restrict loess in homogeneous cemented
throughout the area. Therefore, loess undergoes
FIGURE 5.33 Oil shale composed of clayey and silty irregular concretions due to uneven cementing
laminae saturated with kerogen and naphthenes (black),
areas and greater wear and erosion of unce-
Slavonia crude oil and gas field, Croatia.
mented parts resulting morphological forma-
tions known as loess dwarfs.
Loess forms by deposition of Aeolian pow-
environments. Mudstones are, unlike the shale, der material transferred by wind from large
homogeneous, solid lithified rocks that contain distances. The powder originates from the
mixture of particles clays and powder (from sludge left over after the flooding of vast val-
one-third to two-third clay and powder, Table leys and drying of this sludge after the with-
5.4). The oil shales show homogeneous texture drawal of water in river beds. Wind and air
and granulometric and mineral composition is currents rise and spread dry powders over
almost identical to geologic young muddy long distances and deposit on land or in water.
shales. The largest amounts of loess deposited in the
Quaternary, especially in the Pleistocene, in LOESS the ice ages, when the climate was dry and
Loess is a homogeneous, nonlaminated to windy. A huge amount of sludge was depos-
thickly layered, poorly lithified, well sorted and ited by melting of ice and flooding of river val-
extremely porous pelite-clastic sediment. The leys during the interglacial periods.
granulometric composition of loess is character-
ized with a high content of grain sizes of me- Marlstone
dium and coarse powder (silt). The diameter of Marls are mixed carbonate-clay rock and are
grains is predominantly 0.015e0.05 mm. Loess composed of cryptocrystalline or microcrystal-
usually contains small grains of powder sizes line calcite and siliciclastic detritus of pelitic
(0.004e0.015 mm) and from 10% to 20% particles dimension, primarily clay, with larger or smaller
sizes of clay, and sometimes even smaller share portions of powder (Fig. 5.34). Part of calcite can
of the fine sand grain size (0.063e1 mm). be of chemogenic in origin, arise from the secre-
The predominant mineralogical composition tion of the sea or lake water, while some may be
of loess is detrite grains of quartz over to detrite the tiniest carbonate detritus of lime sludge. Marl
feldspars, usually in the ratio of 4:1. The share of is usually considered a rock that contains be-
calcite, mainly of authigenic origin, varies in the tween 20% and 80% clay and 80% and 20%
range between 10% and 30%, and mica and clay calcite.
Argillaceous Sediments
Claly Organic matter is present in small amounts in
almost all the sediments, and a significant pro-
portion is virtually located mainly in argilla-
ceous rocks, especially mudstones, shales and
Marl marlstone. Such rocks can therefore be a source
Silt of crude oil and are named oil source rocks. The
marl old name for more diagenetically tough rock is
oil shales. Sapropelic is often used to name for
the mudstone rich in organic matter. Organic
matters in sediments are located in four basic
forms: kerogen, asphalt (bitumen), crude oil
and natural gas, which consist of a wide range
of complex hydrocarbons.
Clay Silt Kerogen is a solid dark gray or black organic
substance that contains hydrocarbons insoluble
1 - Limestone in the common organic solvents such as ether,
2 - Claly–silty limestone acetone, benzene and chloroform. It has complex
3 - Slity limestone organic composition and is believed to originate
4 - Clay
mainly by wind inflicted spores and pollen of
5 - Calcite–silt clay
6 - Silt clay
plants and very small aquatic plants (algae)
7 - Calcite claly siltstone that are deposited along with winds issued pow-
8 - Claly calcite siltstone der. The kerogen is necessary for their fossiliza-
9 - Claly siltstone tion in anaerobic conditions under an anaerobic
10 - Calcite siltstone environment. Three different types of kerogen
11 - Siltstone with regard to the origin of organic matter:
FIGURE 5.34 Detailed classification and nomenclature of
the limestoneeclayeyesilt sediments.
1. Algal kerogens (Fig. 5.33) that generate oil
(characterized by high values of the ratio of
hydrogen/carbon between 1.0 and 2.2 and a
Rock, originally comprised calcite and clay low ratio of oxygen/carbon, <0.1).
with mutual relationship and chemically equiva- 2. Mixed kerogens that generate oil or gas
lent to marl, undergoes diagenetic process in the (characterized by average values ratio of
greater depth transforming typical clay minerals hydrogen/carbon between 1.0 and 1.7 and the
in the illite, chlorite, sericite, muscovite, and average values of relations oxygen/carbon
designated as marl or marlite. A real “clean” between 0.0 and 0.2).
marls, composed only of clay and calcite, are 3. Humic kerogens that generate gas (a low ratio
rare in the nature. Much more common are dusty of hydrogen/carbon between 0.5 and 1.0 and
marls containing between 10% and 33% of silici- a high ratio of oxygen/carbon between 0.07
clastic grain sizes of powder, with calcite and and 0.25).
clay between 20% and 80% (Fig. 5.34).
Marls are the most common insulator rocks in Asphalt or bitumen is sticky, black and highly
the deposits of oil and gas and are the primary viscous liquid or semisolid form. It is similar to
raw materials for manufacturing of cement. kerogen in composition, but is soluble in the

common organic solvents. It contains 80e85% diverse intensity and importance of turning the
carbon, 9e10% hydrogen, 2e8% sulfur, and sludge to solid lithified rock. The most signifi-
negligible amount of oxygen and nitrogen. In cant mechanical diagenetic processes are
the sediments is typically found in the pores, tec- compaction and pressure dissolution of grains,
tonic cracks and crushed zones. and most important chemical diagenetic pro-
Crude oil or fossil fuel is the name of the hydro- cesses are cementation of pores and recrystalliza-
carbons that are flammable liquid at the normal tion of unstable in stable mineral components.
pressure and temperature. It occurs in the sedi- Diagenetic process for the different sediments
ments and rocks as fills in primary and second- can be very different and in certain types of de-
ary pores. It contains 82e87% carbon, 12e15% posits has a very uneven intensity with respect
hydrogen and traces of sulfur, nitrogen and oxy- to their mineralogical and granulometric compo-
gen in the form of four types of very complex sition as well as environment and conditions of
molecules of each variable: paraffin, aromatic deposition.
hydrocarbons, naphthenes and asphalt. It is
recovered from the parent rocks at the tempera- Diagenetic Processes in Sandy
tures between 60 and 120  C. Sediments
Natural gas is the name of naturally occurring Early diagenetic processes in sandstones
hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of include all reactions between the mineral grains
methane with other hydrocarbons, carbon diox- of sand and pore-water contained in the sand
ide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide. The gaseous from the time of deposition to the moderate
hydrocarbons contained in pores of sediments depth of the overlay. There are other reactions
and sedimentary rocks. It is recovered from related to the life activity of bacteria. Early diage-
rocks at the temperatures of about 120e220  C netic processes in the sands are significant for the
because at these temperatures, kerogen is not further course of diagenesis because porosity of
as inert with respect to the generation of carbon. sediment may change due to early diagenetic
cementation (porosity reduction) and/or disso-
lution of certain mineral grains (increasing
5.5.5. Diagenesis of Clastic Sediments
porosity). Such processes also affect significantly
Diagenetic processes convert loose, unbound, the late-diagenetic processes that occur when
water-saturated packages of sediments to the sand sediment reaches a greater depth of
firmly lithified sedimentary rocks by either of overlay.
the system: The processes of compaction of sand begin
almost immediately after deposition, and ending
1. Early diagenetic processes that occur in a
at deep covering after pressure dissolution of
completely unrelated, pore-water-saturated
grain and almost complete cementation (Figs
sediments at shallow depths overlap, i.e. a
5.36 and 5.37). The compaction processes or me-
small thickness of overlays.
chanical diagenesis of clean sandstone have
2. Late-diagenetic processes at greater depths
significantly minor role than the chemical diage-
overlap, i.e. below the thick layers of overlays
netic process, unlike pelitic sediments, and
in already partially lithified rock.
clayey sandstone.
In both cases, the sediment is subjected to me- Comparatively loose and loosely packed sedi-
chanical and chemical processes arising from the ment emerges with high porosity during the
depth of the overlay, composition of deposits deposition of sand in the water or air. Well-
and pore-water. This is also influenced by other sorted sand grains with high degree of sphericity
physicalechemical and geological conditions of have intergranular porosity of about 40% after

FIGURE 5.35 The main types of grain contacts in the sediment and relative packaging porosity due to compaction.

deposition. The same sands without cementing reactions of pore water and sand grains. These
in the deeper parts of sediments possess about are reactions of dissolution of mineral grains as
15% porosity. Therefore, increasing the depth well as reactions that cause the secretion of
of the overlay due to compaction reduces the new authigenic minerals, in the form of cement
porosity of the sands. and pushing one mineral with other such as feld-
Reduction of porosity due to compaction of spar with kaolinite. Chemistry of the initial pore
the sand at the very beginning is substantially water in sand is similar to that in water where
different for the fine-grained and coarse sand sand is deposited. Marine pore water can circu-
(Fig. 5.35). However, after the sands have been late a few inches below the layer of sand and
deposited for 1000e1500 m of thickness of new there in the pores of the sand cause early diage-
sediment, the porosity of the coarse-grained netic cementing with carbonate or phosphate
sands reduces in relation to fine-grained sands excretion. The aragonite or Mg-calcite cement
in the absence of significant amounts of clay or (known as beach rock cements type) is usually
carbonate. Specifically, well-sorted coarse grains secreted during early diagenesis in sea sands (sil-
slide more easily during pressure, and deploy iciclastic and carbonate).
loose cubic form in denser rhombohedral pack- Pore water associated with deeper currents
ing. Compaction of fine-grain sands containing extrudes by compaction of clay deposits and
clay matrix is higher. moves into younger sediments at higher level.
Chemical diagenetic processes can also start It can cause the release of mineral cement near
immediately after the deposition of sand, with the border of the sediment and water. In this

way, carbonate cements, and hematite, limonite Pressure overlays

and Mn-oxides typically secrete in sands.
Oxidation of organic matter, particularly the
life activity of aerobic bacteria, causes increase
of CO2 resulting secretion of carbonate cement.
The bacteria that reduce sulfate by production of
H2S contribute to lowering the limit of redox po-
tentials. This allows the formation of pyrite in
the presence of iron and the total iron excretes in
the form of sulfides. The dissolution of CaCO3 ex-
cretes siderite below this zone, or in freshwater.
The sands, deposited in evaporite and sabkha
environments (coastal saline), contain evaporite
pore water with high content of dissolved sub-
stances that can exude carbonate calcite, arago-
nite, dolomite, Mg-calcite cements, and sulfate,
anhydrite, and barite cements. Sandstones in
the zone above the underlying water (arid envi-
ronment) excrete calcite, hematite, limonite and FIGURE 5.36 Pressure melting of quartz grains in con-
manganese oxides as early diagenetic cements. tact with surrounding grains or “grain on grain” due to
pressure overlays.
Late-diagenetic processes in the sandy sedi-
ments occur at greater depths overlay with two
important factors. Pressure dissolution is partial dissolution of
the sand grains, usually quartz, on the grain con-
1. General increase in pressure and direct
tacts through which pressure overlays is trans-
pressure on the grain contacts, which causes
mitted. This extends the melting area of grain
severe mechanical compaction and pressure
contacts in the form of a toothed grain encroach-
dissolution of sand grains at their points of
ment into the other grains (Fig. 5.36). This re-
contact to which it transmits pressure.
duces the intergranular porosity and thickness
2. Temperature increase due to increased
while increasing the level of lithifaction in sand-
solubility of many mineral grains and mineral
stone (Figs 5.35 and 5.37(B)). The melting points
ingredients that contain constitutively water,
of grain to grain shape changes due to their
lose water and transform it into new stable
reduction, thinning and mutual interference in
minerals under such conditions.
one another, or grains become flatter. Pressure
Constitutional water is extracted from the
dissolution at greater depths covering
minerals when heated, and it is in atomic
1000e1500 m is the most significant factor in
state, mainly as OH-groups.
compaction of sandstones.
General increase in pressure at greater depth Besides these effects of compaction, pressure
of the overlay occurs due to the weight of depos- dissolution has another important role in diagen-
ited sediment. This hydrostatic pressure causes esis as the dissolution releases silicon dioxide
denser packing by increasing the surface area related to silica acid (H4SiO4). This mobile acid
of “grain on grain” contacts, reducing the pres- reextracts the same or neighboring sand layer
sure between the grains, reducing the thickness in the form of quartz cement around quartz
and increasing the level of lithification in sand- grains or “regeneration edge” or secondary
stone (Figs 5.36 and 5.37). growth of quartz.
pore water is enriched by ions in compaction
currents that can excrete new authigenic min-
erals, particularly quartz cement. Cementation
of sands with quartz cement is extremely slow
and time-consuming diagenetic process due to
relatively low concentrations of silicon in these
2. Facilitating the incorporation of highly
hydrated “cations” in the lattice of carbonates:
Highly hydrated cations that at low tempera-
tures prevalent on the surface of the Earth are in
a melted state, such as Mgþþ and Feþþ, cannot
be in the presence of marine pore water incorpo-
rated into the carbonate lattice. However, with
increasing temperature they become less hydrat-
ed and already at a temperature of 60e100  C
(the depth of coverage of 2e3 km) are excreted
as Mg and Fe-carbonate ferrocalcite, and siderite
cements. There are numerous examples of such
rocks, such as, in deep wells of gas fields at
Molve, Kalinovac, Croatia.
3. Squeezing the OH-group (constitutional
water) from clay minerals and their
FIGURE 5.37 Conceptual diagrams showing the rela- transformation into new stable minerals
tionship of porosity of sandy sediments in their cementing (illite, muscovite, and chlorite):
without or stronger compaction at shallow depths covering.
(A) Excretion of mineral cement in intergranular pores
A rise in temperature and pressure causes the
involving large quantity and flow of pore water for sufficient formation of higher density minerals that
mineral cement and filling the pore spaces between sand contain water or constitutively contain very lit-
grains. The volume of sand before and after cementing in tle. It is in sandstones with clay matrix (gray-
fact remains constant with decrease only in porosity. (B) wacke) in diagenetic processes at greater
Compaction with cementation and pressure cause significant
decrease in porosity and to considerable reduction in the depths overlay manifest with transformation of
total volume, and thus the thickness of sandstone sequence. clay minerals from the smectite/montmoril-
lonite group and kaolinite in stable minerals
The rise in temperature has great influence on from the group illite and chlorite, as well as
the chemical diagenetic process in the sandy sed- muscovite, i.e. sericite matrix.
iments at greater depth. The effects of higher The research to establish changes in composi-
temperatures by increasing the depth of the tion and stability of clay minerals with
overlay manifest the following: increasing temperature and pressure at
increasing depth of covering shows that smectite
1. Changes in the solubility of minerals as a
(montmorillonite) and mixed layer of clay min-
function of temperature:
erals become unstable at temperatures between
The solubility of mineral components of sand- 60 and 100  C, which corresponds to the depth
stone increases with increasing temperature. The of the overlay of 2e3 km, and transforms to illite

and chlorite. Similarly, kaolinite becomes unsta- with cementation and pressure dissolution
ble at the temperatures between 120 and 150  C, (Fig. 5.37(B)) comes with a significant reduction
which correspond to the depth of the overlay be- in porosity and to significantly reduction in the to-
tween 3 and 4 km, and it is transformed to illite. tal volume, and thus the thickness of sandstone.
Illite gradually transforms to muscovite if the The diagenetic processes in sandstones and
pore solution containing enough K and Al. The sandy sediments are due to changes in porosity,
kaolinite and illite are common ingredients of and they play an important role in the sandstone
graywacke sandstone. This process typically properties, i.e. the possibility of oil and gas reser-
causes sericitization of matrix, i.e. the conversion voirs, aquifers of drinking and thermal water.
of clay minerals in fine-grained cluster of illite
and muscovite, and is commonly called sericite Diagenetic Processes in Clayey
matrix. Sericite is the name for the small mica Sediments
flakes that are not specifically identifiable Mechanical diagenetic processes or compac-
microscopically. tion in the clay sediments have a much greater
Cementation is the most important diagenetic role than in sandy sediments, as freshly depos-
process by which loose, scattered sand converts ited clay sediments and sludges signify loose
into tightly bound rock sandstone. This process packing components. The accumulations of
occurs during the early and late diagenesis un- clay minerals form honeycomb or “house of
der conditions of greater depth overlay. Cement cards” structure (Fig. 5.38(B)) and have very
can be the authigenic mineral that has caused the high porosity, typicallybetween 70% and 85%.
reduction of intergranular porosity, therefore The pores between honeycombs aggregated
the mineral that separates the solution from the clay particles are completely filled with water.
pores between the grains (intergranular pores) Strong compaction due to pressure overlays
or in the pores inside the grains (intragranular starts with the gradual deposition of increasing
pores). Sands can be cemented and transformed amounts of new sediment. The loose packing
into sandstone in two fundamentally different of particles in the honeycomb, or “house of
ways: cards” is not stable and particles began to
restructure in parallel with each other schedule
1. Only by the secretion of cement in the
and significantly reducing the porosity. Primary
intergranular pores of sand: this is going on
porosity of clayey sediment and sludge is appre-
with bringing of cations and anions in the
ciably higher than the porosity of newly depos-
melted state by circulation of pore water or
ited sand. A honeycomb packed clusters of clay
diffusion of ions (Fig. 5.37(A)).
particles restructure or “crash” in parallel posi-
2. Pressure melting of mineral grains in the
tion (between 100 and 200 m, Fig. 5.38(B)). Clus-
pressure points and reexcretion of minerals,
ters are in such a destruction of the structure
usually quartz, in the form of cement.
oriented perpendicular to the largest surface
In the first case, i.e. in excretion of mineral bearing pressure, causing laminated sediment
cement in intergranular pores of sands from the (mudstone becomes mud shale). Simultaneously
solution requires a large amount and flow of with the restructuring of particles, the other
pore water to allow the extraction of sufficient important diagenetic process takes place by
quantities of mineral cement for filling the pore displacement of pore water or another fluid
spaces between sand grains. The volume of sand (e.g. oil) that filled pores in the mud. The first
before and after cementing in fact remains con- process causes compaction of sediment and
stant with decrease only in porosity reducing porosity. The second process causes a
(Fig. 5.37(A)). In the second case, i.e. compaction strong flow of water or pore fluids.

FIGURE 5.38 Schematic diagram showing honeycomb structure of the clay deposits related to increasing depth of
deposition and reduction in porosity: (A) changes in porosity of clayey sediment depending on the increasing depth of the
overlay as a consequence of compaction and restructuring of particles and (B) honeycomb structure.

Experimental studies show the clay compac- porosity of clayey sediment with increasing
tion process to be highly compacted clay at a depth of the overlay (Fig. 5.38(A)) shows that
pressure of 50 MN/cm2 (MN ¼ MegaNewton) in the beginning of the clay sediments overlay
as in nature, covering equivalent of about with new sediments, the porosity decreases
250 m. The curve of the general reduction in very rapidly to a depth of 100e200 m at a small

increase in depth of overlay. This is due to demo- precipitated sludge is reduced by about three-
lition of honeycomb or “house of cards” struc- fourth. For example, thick mud of 100 m changes
ture. Porosity decreases linearly with increasing to only 25e30-m-thick layer of clay shale. The
depth of the overlay (Fig. 5.38(A)) from about geometry and shape of sedimentary bodies in
300 to 3000 m. the clay, shale and pelitic sediments can be
In this way, the initial porosity of about visualized in this way. If turbidity or submarine
80e85% of just precipitated sludge reduces to fan sand or sand body occurs within such deep-
about 43% at a depth of 100 m covering. The seated sediments or sedimentary package, the
porosity continues to reduce to 30% at 300 m, deposits will assume a convex or lenticular shape
13% at 1600 m, and finally 3e4% at the depth of (Fig. 5.39).
3000 m (Fig. 5.38(A)). Thus, the compaction of The clay deposits are compacted until the par-
clay sediments significantly reduces the porosity, ticles of clay mixed with grains of quartz, feld-
causes severe compaction flow of displaced spar and other minerals come to closest contact
pore water (and other fluids, e.g. oil) and signifi- with loss of water or other fluids lead to loss of
cantly reduces the thickness of the sediments. plasticity. Clay is imprinted in the interspaces
In-depth coverage of about 3000-m-thick primary of quartz, feldspar and other mineral grains sizes

FIGURE 5.39 Experimental diagram showing the shape and thickness of (A) primary precipitated sediment and sand
body and (B) changes due to the different effects of compaction on the clay and sand deposits with increasing depth of the
of silt and fine sand at high pressure. The grains muscovite and chlorite at higher temperatures
are embossed on the clay and the sediment (Fig. 5.40).
hardens mechanically. If the process of compac- A good example of changes in clay minerals
tion by the high-pressure overlays continues, with increasing depth of the overlay is Miocene
there would be deformation of certain compo- marls and marlite from deep wells and oil fields
nents, pressure dissolution, and at even higher in eastern Slavonia, Croatia. Marlites (altered
pressures resulting cracking of mineral grains. marl), illite and chlorite are reported as clay min-
Mechanical compaction of clay sediments has erals by derivation of diagenetic processes at
large role in their diagenesis. It is not the only depth of 1300e1500 m. Chlorite occurs most
important diagenetic process as it is regularly fol- intensely in the late stage of diagenesis at greater
lowed by chemical diagenesis. These processes depths covering with transformation of
are caused by changes in the chemistry of pore kaolinite, montmorillonite and clay minerals.
water when sediment comes under compaction Part of the chlorite may occur in the marine
currents. In the early stage of diagenesis, the spending in the early stage of diagenesis. Early
clay sediments have high porosity with possible diagenetic chlorites are usually rich in magne-
compaction flow of pore solution, and intense sium, and late diagenetic in iron. Chlorite is
ion-exchange. The sediment is increasingly easily transformed into vermiculite and smectite,
dominated by reducing conditions, and negative and in clay sediments often occur in disordered
Eh-potential with increasing the depth of the interstratified mixed layer minerals from a group
overlay, oxygen deficiency. In the late stages of of chloriteevermiculite and chloriteesmectite.
diagenesis, the porosity of clay sediments re- Shale, formed from mud at greater depths
duces and pore flow intensity. The pressure and overlay, contains with the stable quartz, the
temperature grow, and thus the speed of chemi- new stable minerals illite, muscovite and chlorite
cal reactions. In the final reduction of the porosity (Fig. 5.40).
of only 0.5% at the depth of 6000e9000 m and at
temperature of 220  C, diagenetic process gradu- 5.5.6. Residual Sediments: Laterite,
ally disappears and metamorphic processes
Kaolin, Bauxite and Terra Rossa
Chemical diagenetic processes in clayey sedi- Chemical weathering of some rocks (as is
ments, due to the instability of clay minerals at more fully explained in Section creates
high temperature and pressure, kaolinite that oc- three groups of products of weathering:
curs in large quantities during the weathering
1. Ions in the dissolved state: mainly released
process and immediately after deposition at
from rocks and hydrated alkali and alkaline
greater depths overlay is no longer stable. The
earth elements (Na, K, Li, Ca, Mg, and Sr) and
clayey sediments at greater depth covering typi-
silicon in the form of silicic acid (H4SiO4).
cally do not contain kaolinite. The kaolinite
2. Authigenic minerals: particularly clay
completely disappears and is transformed into
minerals (kaolinite and seladonite or
chlorite and illite at depths >3000e5000 m
montmorillonite) and aluminum hydroxides.
(Fig. 5.40).
3. Residues or waste of the rocks that in the
Geologically old clay sediments (Paleozoic
spending did not dissolve (usually those
and Mesozoic) that have undergone intense
containing quartz and resistant silicate
diagenetic changes (mudstone and shale) usu-
minerals, especially mica).
ally have simpler mineral composition such as
illite, muscovite and chlorite. Smectite, kaolinite The second and third groups are residual
and muscovite transform into more stable illite, sediments or residues.

Changes Increase
of Stage Mineral Pressure
overlay Deposit-rock Porosity °C
composition kg/cm2

Before %

Vul. glass
Organ matter
Sludge 0 0
overlay 70–90
Early Soft 40–80

diagenesis compact 25–40
500 m 30 15 70

1000 m 35 150

Deep overlay-late diagenesis

3000 m 7 100 500


4 150 1200
5000 m

>5000– 220 2500


10,000 m
phosis Slate <3

Lenght of line indicates impressions at depth of covering, and

thickness of the line amount of the individual mineral constituents

FIGURE 5.40 Diagenetic changes in mineral composition, porosity and rock types, depending on the depth of cover of
clayey sediments. Source: Revised by Füchtbauer and Müller.18

In the initial stage of chemical weathering of the clay is partially washed out in the form of
mafic, neutral and ultramafic igneous rocks colloidal particles, and also remains in the form
rich in olivine, pyroxene and amphibole, form of residual deposits. All magnesium and calcium
authigenic minerals from group of chlorite and minerals are leached out if the process continues
clay rich in iron and magnesium. Kaolinite, uninterrupted. Quartz is the only left over or the
smectite and illite-clay are weathered products final product or residue from primary mineral
of acid igneous rocks and feldspar-rich granite- composition of rocks and newly formed authi-
gneisses. In the advance stages of weathering, genic minerals of the kaolinite group, boehmite,
Al2Si2O5(OH)4, as a residual product of chemical
weathering of feldspar, mainly from granite
rocks. Kaolin deposits are usually formed by
deposition of kaolinite after its shorter transfer
by water from the point of spending or granite
gneiss, mostly in lacustrine environments.
Kaolin layers are typically located along the
lake sands, sludges and coal or peat. Kaolin is
a valuable mineral raw material for the manufac-
ture of ceramics, especially porcelain, and the
raw material in paper production.
Red Mediterranean soil, also known as terra
rossa (Italian for “red soil”), is a soil classification
FIGURE 5.41 Laterite soil (deep red brown color), that has been formally superseded by the formal
chemical residual product from layered ultramafic complex, classifications of systems such as the FAO soil
contains rich nickel resource from upper levels of Sukinda classification, but that is still in common use.
chromite deposits/mines, Orissa, India. Source: Ref. 25. FAO stands for “Food and Agriculture Organi-
zation” of the United Nations.
gibbsite, limonite and hematite. Strong chemical Red soil (terra rossa) is, in geological terms, fine-
weathering, hot and humid air, and little or prac- grain sediment reddish brown and yellowish-red
tically no erosion or removal of products of wear color, which is as clay-dusty cultivable soil
is necessary for the origin of such residue. This located on calcareous, karst terrain of the Medi-
procedure generates residual sediments of terranean area. Terra rossa is the chemical weath-
laterite type, which are often economically sig- ering product of limestone under oxidizing
nificant mineral resources. The most important conditions excelled by Mediterranean climate.
residual sediments petrologically include The distinctiveness of red soil is its red color
laterite, residual clay or kaolin, terra rossa (or due to soil processes peptization of amorphous
“red soil”, weathering of limestone) and bauxite. iron hydroxide and the formation of tiny crystals
Laterite soils are reddish-brown color of hematite and goethite in tiny, dense ground
(Fig. 5.41), which are products of strong chemical mass of soil. With respect to granulation of red
weathering of mafic and ultramafic rocks rich in soils belongs to the fine-grained pelite sedi-
olivine, pyroxene and hornblende. Laterite is ments, because they consist of particle size
rich in iron hydroxides, nickel, copper, chro- <63 mm and very small, often insignificant share
mium, platinumepalladium and aluminum, to of the fine sand. Mineral composition of terra
which also contains small amounts of humus, rossa is usually as follows: dominant are mica
quartz, calcite, clay and other minerals. Laterites minerals (mica and illite), quartz and clay min-
are widely distributed and best developed on erals (kaolinite and disordered kaolinite), and
large plains made of basalt and basic intrusive the much smaller proportion of hematite and
ultramafic rocks in areas with humid tropical goethite as well as amorphous substances,
climate and low relief (India, Africa, and South plagioclase and K-feldspar.
America) with weak erosion. Laterite can be a Red polygenetic soils mainly derived from
potential source of high-value metallic minerals. powder materials that cover on the limestone
Kaolin or China clay is residual sediment con- and dolomite surface applied by wind, and by
sisting of pure kaolinite (Fig. 2.16), i.e. clay min- precipitation in cavities during heavy rains. It is
erals from a group of hydrated aluminosilicates often mixed with a small amount of indigenous

soil generated from weathering of carbonate sub- Previously, it was thought that the karst baux-
strates. It also results in prolonged and repeated ites occur by hydration process of clay material
process of resedimentation. The origin (pedogen- that is exclusively insoluble left over of karst
esis or soil evolution) is essential Mediterranean and exposed to emersion limestone and dolo-
climate, good permeability carbonate base for a mite. In recent times, there is more evidence
strong drainage, pH around 7 (roughly neutral) that the parent material for the origin of karst
of pore solution, strong carbonate leaching, bauxite may largely derive from small material
long-term (>10,000 years) suitable conditions for Aeolian origin, therefore, of fine-grained
the formation of hematite and goethite as well materials or powders were either terrigenic or
as long (>10,000 years) suitable conditions for volcanic origin issued by wind, and only part
the genesis of kaolinite and generally accumula- of the insoluble residue of limestone and
tion of clay minerals. dolomite.
Bauxites are rocks that contain minerals
mostly from the group of aluminum hydroxide,
mainly gibbsite (Al(OH)3) or aluminum oxide
hydrate boehmite (AlOOH) and rarely amor- 5.6. VOLCANICLASTIC ROCK
phous gel (Al(OH)3). In addition to aluminum
and bauxite minerals regularly contain variable 5.6.1. Definition and Origin of
amounts of kaolinite and halloysite, quartz, Volcaniclastic Sediments and Rocks
aluminum chlorite, hematite and goethite, and
Volcaniclastics contain more than 25% of the
as the minor ingredients rutile and anatase.
ingredients of volcanic origin (fragments of vol-
Bauxites are used for obtaining aluminum ore
canic rock, volcanic glass, and volcanic ash); a
and also as refractory bricks. Bauxites arise in
material was ejected by volcanic eruptions, and
two mutually substantially different geological
transported by air, water or pyroclastic flows
to the place where it was deposited (on land or
1. the intensive chemical consumed silicate at sea). In some places, such material can be
rocks of igneous and metamorphic origin to mixed and resedimented along with greater or
transform so-called laterite bauxites or silicate lesser amounts of sedimentary material
bauxites, and detrite or biochemical in origin. In volcaniclastic
2. karst on carbonate rocks, and are known as ingredients, pyroclastic in origin are the
karst bauxites or carbonate bauxites. following:
Laterite bauxites are typical of tropical regions 1. Lithoclasts, i.e. fragments of volcanic rocks
of South America, West Africa, India and ejected during volcanic eruptions.
Australia, and the massifs of Arkansas (USA). 2. Crystal clasts or crystals that are crystallized
Karst bauxites are very abundant in the Mediter- in the lava before eruption. In the pyroclastic
ranean region, the Urals, West-Indian islands sediments came in more or less intact, or
and in East Asia. perished condition. Most often these are
The process of formation of aluminum hy- sharp-edged, angular fragments of quartz
droxide in bauxite is associated with the hydro- crystals, feldspar, amphibole, biotite,
lysis of clay minerals, mainly kaolinite. For pyroxene and olivine.
such a process requires underlying material, 3. Vitroclasts or fragments of volcanic glass,
mainly clay minerals and large amounts of wa- which are generally smaller than lithoclasts
ter to remove the silicon in the form of silicic and crystal clast, usually sized between 0.1
acid, which requires a long geological time. and 0.4 mm. They are angular, irregular or
angular wedge-plate sections of acid, neutral respect to the origin and the primary mode of
and basic volcanic glass. transportation and deposition of pyroclastic
Tephra is a synonym for pyroclastic materials
and pyroclastic sediments and in general for res- 1. Volcaniclastic sediments originated from
ervoirs of pyroclastic material regardless of the pyroclastic flows.
size of the fragments and particles. Volcaniclastic 2. Volcaniclastic sediments formed by
sediments contain fragments and particles of deposition of pyroclastic material from
volcanic origin (volcaniclasts) that termed as the air.
pyroclasts or hydroclasts considering the place 3. Volcaniclastic sediments resulting from
and mode of origin. The pyroclasts are products the turbulent flow of low density and high
of volcanic eruptions on land and hydroclast speed.
fragments and particles occur in volcanic explo-
Volcaniclastic sediments originate from pyro-
sions on the contact of lava and water (subma-
clastic flows resulting from volcanoes hot, gas-
rine volcanism). The rapid cooling and
rich pyroclastic flows and ash fragments flowing
mechanical granulation of lava occur in the con-
or rolling and crashing down the slope of volca-
tact with water.
nic eruption or by a similar mechanism of grav-
Scoria is the name for a dark gray and black
ity flows. The main components of these flows
pyroclastic accumulation takes place at erup-
are volcanic gases and primary volcanic material
tions of neutral and basic lava.
predominantly acidic composition. The dimen-
Pumice stones are extremely porous, vesicular
sions vary from small grains to large blocks.
and light volcaniclastic material of bright color
Such flows occur from subaerial or submarine
that floats on water (Fig. 5.42). It is composed
environments (Fig. 5.43). The sediments of volca-
of pyroclasts of different sizes and shapes, and
niclastic material deposited by mechanisms of
arises from the stronger viscous acid, silica-
one, several or more pyroclastic flows or ash
rich, and neutral lavas.
flows and pumice-rich are called ignimbrites.
Volcaniclastic sediments or tephra are
Volcaniclastic sediments formed by deposi-
broadly divided into three genetic groups with
tion of material falling from the air are the
result of accumulation of pyroclastic material
ejected by volcanic eruption high into the at-
mosphere. It is a fine-grain volcanic ash which
after the eruption makes cloud of lapilli and
volcanic ash into the atmosphere and is trans-
ferred over long distances of several hundred
to several thousand kilometers away from the
eruption site. The farthest reaching are the
tiny particles of ash from which arise fine-
grain tuff in the vicinity of the eruption precip-
itated by lapilli, or lapilli tuffs (Table 5.5). In
this way, fine-grain tuffs usually form thin
bands within the land, lake and marine sedi-
ments in connection with each eruption. The
FIGURE 5.42 Pumice stone, highly porous, vesicular and tuff settles on very large areas as the mark
light volcaniclastic pyroclasts with low density (<1), and layers, i.e. layers formed by deposition from
float on the water. the same stage of volcanic eruptions, and

FIGURE 5.43 Deposition of volcaniclastic sediments in undersea volcanic eruptions: (A) ejection and suspension of vol-
caniclastic material with seawater, and (B) pyroclastic flows occurred in the first and second phases of the eruption and
volcaniclastic turbidites occur in the thirddlow explosivedthe phase of the eruption.

TABLE 5.5 Classification of Volcanoclastic Granulometry Sediment (Tephra) and Volcanoclastic Sedimentary Rocks

Particle Size Type of Clast Name of Sediment Consolidated Rock

>64 mm Volcanic bombs blocks Agglomerate Agglomerate

2e64 mm Lapilli Lapilli tephra Lapillistone
0.063e2 mm Large volcanic ash Coarse-grained volcanic ash Coarse-grained tuff

<0.063 mm Fine volcanic ash Fine-grained volcanic ash Fine-grained tuff

Source: Ref. 30.

have defined the exact time of deposition of
layers in which they are located.
Volcaniclastic sediments, resulting from the
turbulent flow of low density and high speed,
are characterized by thin and irregular layers.
The sediments are precipitated from the turbu-
lent flows generated by different mechanisms,
primarily the strong interactions of submarine
eruptions and the surrounding water. It mainly
consists of poorly sorted sand and fine gravel
(0.063e4 mm), with different composition and
origin, with greater or lesser amount of pyro-
clasts from the last eruption, and the prevailing
amount of clasts derived from older volcaniclas-
tic and effusive from previous eruptions. The
complete sedimentary cycle of volcaniclastic sed-
iments deposited by submarine volcanic erup-
tions can be assumed in three different phases
(Fig. 5.44).

Phase Depositional Activities

I Volcaniclastic precipitated from pyroclastic flow in
the most intense phase of the eruption.

II Deposition lapilli and volcanic ash from seawater

during each new eruption of pyroclastic flows and FIGURE 5.44 The complete sedimentary cycle of volca-
no sedimentary material from turbidity flows. niclastic sediments deposited in submarine volcanic erup-
tions. Source: Modified and supplemented by Schmidt39;
III Deposition of pelagic sediments, with brief Einsele.13
interruptions of deposition of fine volcanic ash
and/or pumice.
tuffite. The common types of volcaniclastic rocks
are volcanic breccias, agglomerates, tuffs and
5.6.2. Composition of Volcaniclastic Volcanic breccia consists of angular and semi-
angular fragments and volcanic ash, i.e. the
Sediments and Rocks
ejected material in eruption. Individual blocks
Volcaniclastic material or tephra is divided and fragments of volcanic breccia are typically
into volcanic bombs, lapilli and coarse and fine embedded in the matrix, i.e. lithified volcanic
volcanic ash based on the grain size. Their ash with tiny fragments of volcanic glass, which
precipitation and lithifaction make various pyro- sometimes can be mixed with material of
clastic rocks such as agglomerates, volcaniclastic nonvolcanic origin, such as clay, silt and marl.
breccias, lapilli tuffs, coarse-grained and fine- In certain types of breccia, matrix may have ve-
grain (pelite) tuff (Table 5.5). A mixture of clastic, sicular (porous) structure or the structure of
biochemical and chemical material is called pumice.

Agglomerates are coarse accumulations of also numerous small fragments of oligoclase

large blocks of volcanic material that contain at and small amounts of biotite flakes.
least 75% bombs. Agglomerate is volcaniclastic Merged or welded-tuffs occur in lithifaction of
rock composed of pieces of lava that are in rota- hot ash which was hot at the time of deposition.
tion and cooling in the air took on a shape, i.e. The particles of pumice and small fragments of
from volcanic bombs, embedded in a mass or glass languished in soft ash in the lower parts
matrix of volcanic ash or tuff. The shape and di- of the mass because of its weight. Matrix of
mensions of clastic sediments consisting of peb- welded tuffs is porous in its top layers and easily
bles of volcanic rock (volcanic bombs) are not crushed. Matrix will be less porous and harder at
caused by rounding and wear activity of water. the bottom. Most abundant and important ingre-
It is the result of the process of rapid cooling dients of welded tuffs are fragments of volcanic
and rotation of lava during the eruption from glass, followed by crystal clasts of quartz, sani-
the volcano crater to the place of deposition. Vol- dine, biotite and oligoclase.
canic bombs are nearly spherical or elliptical Tuffite material is a mixture of volcanic and
piece of lava with diameter >64 mm (or, 32 mm sedimentary origin, or rock that contains ingredi-
by some) which is erupted completely or ents between 25% and 75% of the volcaniclastic
partially in molten state, like the pyroclastic frag- origin and 75e25% ingredients of sedimentary
ments. Agglomerates may contain bombs and origin. Sediments containing 10e25% material
fragments of older lava from the same crater from volcaniclastic origin are called as tuffite or
and/or fragments of volcanic rocks that build tuffite marls and tuffite sandstones.
the base of volcanic cones.
Tuff is volcaniclastic rock composed of solid
5.6.3. Alteration of Tuff
volcanic ash that may contain particles of volca-
nic glass (vitro-clasts), small fragments of crys- Of all volcaniclastics, tuffs and tuffites are the
tals formed in lava (crystal clasts) and/or least resistant to chemical weathering. The pro-
fragments of volcanic rock and lava (lithoclasts). cesses of chemical modification of tuffs are a
The various tuffs will be designated as rhyolite, direct consequence of their composition, struc-
dacite, andesite, trachyte and basaltic based on ture and physicochemical conditions and envi-
the composition of the mother volcanic eruption ronment of their origin and geological age.
consisting of acid, neutral or basic lava (rhyolite, Alterations of tuffs, especially with volcanic
dacite, andesite, trachyte and basalt). Tuffs, glass, are the result of chemical reaction of glass
which contain mostly of crystal clasts, are called with water so that the alternating process of
crystal tuffs. The one predominantly composed of dissolution of volcanic glass with the process of
particles of volcanic glass (vitro-clasts) will be excretion of authigenic minerals in places where
called glassy or vitro-clastic tuffs. The one pre- glass is melted. The most common products of
dominantly contains lithoclasts are called litho- such changes in tuffs are the zeolite group of
clastic or lithic tuffs. There would be mutual minerals (Table 2.12). If temperature further in-
transitions members such as crystal-lithic tuff creases with the depth of the overlay, they cross
and crystal-vitroclastic tuff. in to chlorates, quartz and albite.
Sillar-tuffs are glassy tuffs in which lithifaction Neutral and acidic volcanic glass gives
is mainly the result of crystallization in pneuma- different products of changes in relation to basic
tolitic activities. They consist of aggregates of volcanic glass. These differences can be observed
angular, cuneiform, often elongated and curved in the early stages of change.
shards of volcanic glass and are rich in pumice Alterations of acid glassy tuffs primarily
fragments in all stages of breaking. In them are depend on the pH of pore water, seawater or
freshwater. The glassy acidic tuff of w10,000 years sediment (Table 5.2) based on the chemistry of
old changes to cluster of alkali-rich zeolites (phil- essential petrogenic minerals, organogenic compo-
lipsite and clinoptilolite) in the presence of basic nents, and the system of secretion or precipitate.
pore solution/water with pH > 9.5. This is com-
1. Carbonate sedimentary rocks
mon in case in many lakes of arid climatic regions.
Authigenic zeolites with initial high salinity are Carbonate sedimentary rocks include lime-
transformed to “analcime”  quartz or in stone, dolomite limestone and dolomite (Table
K-feldspars  quartz. 5.2), i.e. rocks composed predominantly
Acidic volcanic glass, under conditions of (>50%) of calcium carbonate minerals, calcite,
sea/freshwater with typical low pH, primarily Mg-calcite and aragonite, or dolomite minerals.
changes to smectites (mainly montmorillonite It may also include variable proportion of silici-
group)  opal, cristobalite and zeolite. The acid clastic material dimension silt, sand and clay,
tuffs alter to bentonite due to the effects of and authigenic noncarbonate minerals.
seawater or freshwater. Bentonite (or smectite
deposits) is a clay similar to montmorillonite,
5.7.1. Limestone
zeolite, cristobalite, chalcedony and opal. The
process of alteration of acidic glassy tuff to Limestones are carbonate rocks predomi-
bentonite takes several million years at pH 7e8. nantly organic, to a lesser extent, inorganic
Alteration of basic tuffs, especially basic vol- origin, in which the dominant component is the
canic glass of subaquatic foundation, predomi- mineral calcite. They originated in lithifaction
nantly composed of basaltic glass, occurs much of aragonite, calcite and/or magnesium-calcite
faster than the changes of acid tuffs. It changes sediment. Limestones with calcite may also
quickly to palagonite. Palagonite is a name for contain magnesium calcite, rarely aragonite
the brown, yellow or orange-gray resinous and dolomite. Dolomite-limestone is composed
mixture of different minerals from the group predominantly of calcite.
montmorillonite, zeolites, mixed-layer clay min-
erals, chlorite, limonite and goethite. Palagoniti- Mineral Composition, Physical,
zation is the process of alteration of basalt glass Chemical and Biological Conditions
and glassy tuffs into palagonite. This is hydra- for Foundation of Limestone
tion process that occurs with the addition of wa- The limestone deposits are composed of calcite,
ter and removal of alkali and alkaline earth ions, aragonite and magnesium calcite, or only one or
silicon and sometimes aluminum and oxidation two of these carbonate minerals, lithified calcar-
of iron with excretion of zeolite, calcite and min- eous sediments (limestone) mostly contain only
erals of montmorillonite groups. calcite. The other two minerals, aragonite and
magnesium calcite, transform easily into stable
calcite during diagenetic processes. The dolomite
5.7. CHEMICAL AND limestone composed of calcite and dolomite
BIOCHEMICAL SEDIMENTARY forms by late-diagenetic dolomitization. The
ROCKS calcite, aragonite and magnesium calcite are
mainly excreted by the sea- or freshwater contain-
Chemical and biochemical sedimentary rocks ing Ca-hydrogen by biochemical or organic, to a
belong to the endogenous sediments, i.e. sedi- lesser extent and inorganic processes.
ments that occur predominantly inorganic chemi- The secretion of calcite or aragonite depends
cal or biochemical processes. The rocks are primarily on the molar ratios of Mg/Ca. The
divided into carbonate, silicon and evaporite secretion of aragonite is possible in all warm

shallow seas with high molar ratio of Mg/Ca 2. Heating of water.

compared to the normal ratio (the world’s 3. Reduction of atmospheric pressure.
oceans ratio is 5.26). Calcite and low- 4. Spraying water into droplets in the waves or
magnesium calcite secrete at a temperature of waterfalls.
about 20  C and at molar ratio of Mg/Ca <1, 5. Evaporation.
as is the case in freshwater lakes and rivers. It
A good example for the extraction of carbon-
also excretes from the seawater with lower molar
ate by mosses and water plants which in photo-
ratio of Mg/Ca at lower temperature (w10  C) in
synthetic processes contribute in the formation
deeper water with lower pH (but not <7.8) in
of calcareous matter on the waterfalls of rivers
the presence of SO 4 anions. Excretion of high-
and lakes (e.g. Krka and Plitvice Lakes, Croatia).
magnesium calcite from seawater is mainly
The biogenic origin for most of the marine and
regulated through a tendency of organisms to
some freshwater calcium carbonate is clearly
build their skeletons from magnesium calcite.
established. The inorganic origin of many ma-
The percentage of isomorphic blended MgCO3
rine and surface limestone precipitations is diffi-
in magnesium calcite depends on the tempera-
cult to prove. The majority of calcite creation
ture of seawater. The warmer water may contain
gathers from meteor pore water under the sur-
high-magnesium calcite up to 28 mol.% MgCO3.
face of the Earth formed by inorganic processes.
It can be concluded as follows:
1. Aragonite is excreted in the warm and SECRETION OF CARBONATE
shallow sea with at high ratio of Mg/Ca. IN SHALLOW SEA
2. Calcite and low-magnesium calcite are excreted
More than 90% of recent carbonate sediments
in cold or deep sea, where temperatures are
are the result of biological or biochemical pro-
lower, as also in lakes and rivers.
cesses in marine, mostly shallow-sea environ-
Excretion of Ca-carbonate from a solution satu- ments. Their occurrence and distribution
rated in calcium hydrogen carbonate takes place within the world’s seas are directly determined
according to the following chemical reaction: by the growth and development of organisms
whose life processes, especially photosynthesis
and building skeletons and shells, related to
CaðHCO3 Þ2 ƒƒƒƒƒ
ƒ! CaCO3 þ CO2 þ H2 O the Ca-carbonate. Growth and development of
calcium aragonite such organisms are conditioned with tempera-
hydrogen- or ture, climate, concentration and salinity of
carbonate calcite seawater. The existing seawater organisms and
their preference for the construction of the skel-
It is evident from this reaction that the secre- eton or shell play an important role in the for-
tions of calcite or aragonite in water containing mation of the primary mineral composition of
dissolved calcium hydrogen carbonate take limestone deposits, especially those mainly
place, if from the hydrogen-carbonate somehow composed of finely crushed skeletons. The
CO2 or water is removed. favored minerals are aragonite, calcite or high-
Removing CO2 from the sea- or freshwater in magnesium calcite. Many plant and animal spe-
nature can be caused by the following: cies are directly or indirectly involved in the for-
mation of carbonate sediments, or limestone.
1. Bacteriological and photosynthetic processes These are organisms that build their skeletons
of plants and cyanobacteria (blue-green of aragonite, calcite, and thus lithified at the
bacteria and blue-green algae). site of the growth form of limestone reefs. The
greatest amount of diagenetic limestone de- the CCD border. Thereafter solubility of calcite
posits are caused by deposition of shell and sharply increases with a small increase in depth.
skeleton, or their bioclasts excelled by the activ- The seawater will have no more calcite when
ity of waves, currents and bioerosion in small CCD border line solubility reaches the absolute
sections of crushed parts. maximum (Fig. 5.45).
Many organisms, especially algae, cyanobac- CCD boundary line varies depending on lati-
teria, mosses and grasses, to a large extent are tude, temperature and salinity of oceans and
indirectly involved in the genesis of carbonate seas of the present day World (Fig. 5.45). In
sediments. The most significant photosynthetic the equatorial belt of the Pacific Ocean, CCD
processes of plants extract CO2 and thus induce is located at depths between 4500 and 5000 m.
the secretion of CaCO3 from sea- or freshwater CCD is located between 4400 and 4900 m in
containing calcium hydrogen carbonate. The the Atlantic Ocean between 40 north and 40
photosynthetic process can source the release of south latitude. CCD in the equatorial zone is
2800 g carbonate from today’s tropical, warm, at depth slightly more than 5000 m, and at
shallow seas, sea grass with an area of 1 m2 in diminished depth at higher latitudes up to
1 year. One can get the picture of the importance 2000 m, and latitudes over 60 and much shal-
of plants in limestone formations when this lower than 1000 m.
figure is deduce to a total area of shallow marine Aragonite compensation depth (ACD) is signifi-
and counted the time of thousands and even mil- cantly shallower than the CCD: the Atlantic

The carbonate production is much smaller in
deeper water because it depends directly on
the degree of saturation of water in calcium
hydrogen carbonate, which significantly re-
duces as the depth increase. The shallow sea
is saturated, and the deeper parts of the
seas and oceans in the World are poorly satu-
rated with calcium hydrogen carbonate. There-
fore, it is difficult to excrete Ca-carbonate in
deeper sea.
The water depth at which the solubility of
carbonates is equal to their excretion, it is called
the calcite compensation depth (CCD). The water
contains an excess of dissolved calcium
hydrogen carbonate and excretion of Ca-
carbonate is possible and stable above that
depth (separation of calcite). Ca-carbonates are
unstable below the CCD and dissolve because
the water is supersaturated with calcium
hydrogen carbonate, and cannot excrete. The FIGURE 5.45 Position of calcium compensation depth
solubility of calcite follow almost linear trend (CCD) and aragonite compensation depth (ACD) boundary
with increasing depth of the sea until just above lines in deeper water.

Ocean in temperate latitudes is located at depths aragonite cements, which are commonly named
of 1700e1800 m (Fig. 5.45). as sparite.
The positions of CCD and ACD boundary Micrite is nowadays generally understood as
lines in the seas varied throughout Earth’s a very small matrix limestone or lithified lime
geological history in rather wide limits. In the mud, which consists of carbonate crystals or par-
geologic past, the position of CCD has varied be- ticles of diameter <30 mm (Figs 5.46 and 5.56). It
tween 3000 and 5000 m. CCD and ACD bound- is dense, in the transient light of microscope
ary lines determine the stability fields of calcite slightly transparent, calcite mass composed of
or aragonite, in the sea from which it is clear allotriomorphic to hipidiomorphic calcite crys-
that at deep sea (below CCD border line), there tals with each other straight or bent contacts.
is no carbonate sedimentation (Fig. 5.45). Before lithifaction, it was fine-grain lime
sludgeda mixture of tiny particles of aragonite The Structural Components and/or magnesium calcite or calcite. After lithi-
of Limestone faction in limestone, micrite contains only cryp-
Limestones are composed of carbonate grains, tocrystalline or microcrystalline calcite and
limestone mud, and of subsequently extracted low-magnesium calcite as the primary unstable
authigenic carbonate minerals. Carbonate grains aragonite and high-magnesium calcite during
or particles and very fine lime mud, or matrix, diagenesis transformed into the stable calcite or
generally in the limestone is called “micrite” low-magnesium calcite.
(Fig. 5.46), belonging to genetic group of primary The origin of primary structural components
carbonate structural components. Micrites are of limestone and Ca-minerals can be organic
incurred and precipitated after a longer or (biogenic), inorganic and mixed inorganice
shorter transfer of water in the same depositional organic. Complete sharp division of the organic
area. These are all aragonite, calcite, magnesium and inorganic compounds is not possible because
calcite grains. The authigenic carbonate lime- of tight intertwining ways of their foundation so
stone components are subsequently, after depo- that they cannot always be distinguished. Car-
sition, during diagenesis extracted calcite and bonate mud, which is, for example, formed by
excretion of carbonates in inorganic processes,
and carbonate mud originated biomineralization,
i.e. secretion of aragonite and calcite in the photo-
synthetic processes of algae and seaweed,
together are impossible to differentiate. More-
over, none of these two sludges can be distin-
guished with petrographic microscope, even the
sludge occurs by bioerosion. Therefore, the pri-
mary carbonate structural components of lime-
stone are divided usually into skeletal and
Nonskeletal components of limestone are the
primary structural components, i.e. those are of
inorganic origin, often laminated (Fig. 5.47) and
that clearly do not originate from skeletal mate-
FIGURE 5.46 Micrite is a compact fine-grained limestone rial of microorganisms, animals or shells of
constituent consist of calcareous particles ranging in diam- calcareous skeletons of plants. The group
eter up to 4 mm formed by the recrystallization of lime mud. of nonskeletal components that are in the form
Genesis of carbonate mud, or matrix, or in
the solid limestone micrite is very different.
Micrite may arise by mechanical fragmentation
of the skeleton, direct biogenic accumulation of
small fragments of skeletal calcareous algae and
coccoliths, chemical secretion of aragonite in the
warm seas, excretion of small calcium carbonate
crystals in the photosynthetic processes of
plants, secretion of Ca-carbonate in the activity
of bacteria, the accumulation of very fine
detritus formed in processes of bioerosion of
limestones caused by fungi, sponges, algae
and other organisms that drill and destroy the
FIGURE 5.47 Inorganic well laminated crystalline lime- foundation on which grow (bioerosion). Cocco-
stone composed of white calcite (CaCO3) and reddish liths are composed of thin calcite rings and discs
ankerite [Ca(Fe,Mg,Mn)(CO3)2]. of diameter 20e20 mm, gathered in a cluster of
organisms Cocolithophridae, which are of great
of beads or particles belong intraclasts, pellets, importance as components of many of the
peloids, grapestone grain and coated beads sea (pelagic) limestones. Carbonate mud also
(ooids, pisoids, and oncoids). occurs in abrasion and mechanical crushing of
The skeletal-limestone ingredients are those limestones.
which consist of one or more of carbonate skel- Intraclasts are carbonate grains formed
etal debris or small shells or skeletons within the depositional area by resedimentation
(Fig. 5.48). The skeletal components are common lithified fragments of carbonate sediment,
named as fossil, fossil debris, biodetritus and which occurred immediately after the destruc-
bioclast. A special type of primary structure is tion of sediment deposition. It can be very
the stromatolites, and the primary structural different in size, shape and internal structure
component can be both skeletal and nonskeletal depending on the composition, structure and
origin in the matrix or micrite. texture of carbonate sediment destroyed, trans-
ferred and resedimented and deposited
(Fig. 5.49). The composition, structure and lith-
ofacies type of intraclasts are typically corre-
sponds to the layer with activity of waves and
ocean currents.
Pellets and peloids are spherical, ellipsoidal,
and cylindrical or spindle-carbonate grain diam-
eter mainly from 0.1 to 0.5 mm, rarely up to
2 mm, which is characterized by micrite internal
structure. It consists of densely packed crypto-
crystalline to microcrystalline carbonate contain-
ing an increased proportion of organic matter.
FIGURE 5.48 Skeletal-limestone, apparently laminated, Pellets are important and frequent primary
with debris of small shells and skeleton, represents Devonian
reef complex along the northern margin of the intracratonic structural carbonate components of shallow ma-
Canning Basin at Lennard Shelf hosting rich zincelead rine limestones and early diagenetic dolomites
mineralization, Australia. and recent carbonate sediments.

in the lower tidal region in the shallowest part

of subtidal zone with low water energy, rapid
lithifaction and cementation of deposits. The fos-
sil preservation will be difficult in deeper and
shallow water with increased strong water en-
ergy because the sediments will disintegrate/
crush into loose carbonate mud before compac-
tion, cementation and lithification. Specifically,
in order to preserve fecal pellets, each pellet
must move quickly from soft to the solid grain
or must be cemented fast immediately after it
was expelled from the organism for which
optimal conditions exist in shallow water with
FIGURE 5.49 Intraclastic greystone: poorly sorted, low water energy supersaturated with calcium
rounded intraclasts with micrite structure (dark grains).
bicarbonate. Pellet is called only those of fecal
origin and peloid are all other similar grains
Fecal pellets are incrusted, fossilized feces of formed in some other way.
organisms that fed with sludges. They have Peloids are spherical and hemispherical
spherical, ellipsoidal and well-rounded shapes. micrite carbonate buildup in diameter usually
The shape, dimensions and internal structure 0.05e2 mm resulting in incrustations of blue-
are uniform in the same rock (Fig. 5.50). These green algae. Unlike the fecal pellets, peloids are
are incrusted, fossilized feces and undigested re- characterized by irregular shapes and different
mains of carbonate mud fed on sludge. They sizes, therefore, are not uniform in size, shape
occur in all environments of deposition, in the and internal structure.
shallow and deeper water, lived in large quanti- Coated grains are specific type of carbonate
ties of organisms, and preserved only under grains of different origin and consist of clear
certain conditions. They are important indicators membranes around some core. The coated grains
of environment and conditions of precipitation. include ooids, pisoids, oncoids or coated bio-
The fossil preservation is usually possible only clasts. The rocks consisting mainly of them are
called oolite, oncolite, pisolites. So, just rock,
and not single grain, a continuation of “lite”
(from the Greek “lithos” ¼ rock).
Ooids are properly shaped, generally oval to
spherical grains that consist of a core and multi-
ple concentric membranes or laminae of
different thickness (Fig. 5.51). Individual
laminae can be thinner in places where the
core is irregularly convex. Membranes those
are located directly around the core outline the
contours and shape of the nucleus, while those
farther away from the core tend forming grain
as close to a sphere (Fig. 5.51). The core of ooids
FIGURE 5.50 Pellet greystone: fecal pellets of uniform usually is a pellet, a piece of the skeleton, fora-
shape, dimensions and internal structure cemented in minifera shell or some other skeleton, and
mosaic calcite cement. grains of sand (quartz, rock fragment, and
as a significant source reservoir rocks for oil
and gas due to their often extremely high pri-
mary intergranular porosity.
Pisolites (from the Greek “Pisos”dpeas) are
covered grains very similar to ooids, which, un-
like ooids, are not primary marine structural
components of limestone. Pisolite incurs during
the diagenetic processes in caves, and “vadose
zone” (or unsaturated water zone) under the in-
fluence and effect of freshwater on land or in
marginal zones of marine, terrestrial and lake
environment, as in the vadose zone around the
hyper saline and in the zone of capillary lift the
underlying water. These are characterized by a
clearly visible regular concentric lamina material
FIGURE 5.51 Ooid limestone composed of spherical around a nucleus. The core around which there
ooids cemented with mosaic calcite cement (white). Part of is one or more fragments of limestone. Pisolites
the pore is not cemented (p). form in caves and incur in geysers, or moving
hot water, have regular spherical shape. Pisolites
feldspar). Ooids occur in warm, shallow seas incur in the vadose zone and in quiet immobile
with an average annual temperature above water, have an irregular shape of core that re-
18e20  C and depths of <2 m, with a low cal- sembles to the lamina, i.e. the outer shape of
cium hydrogen carbonate in seawater without pisolites.
significantly elevated salinity. In these marine Oncoids (from the Greek “Onchos”dlumps)
environments, it is necessary for running water are grain covered with irregular shapes with car-
with occasional changes in the intensity of its bonate jackets of micrite lamina. Lamina partially
energy. The presence of granules (pellets, skele- lays one over the other, usually without a clear
tons, skeletal fragments, and quartz grains) concentric structure (Fig. 5.52), may contain rem-
serves as core of ooids. The presence of organ- nants of organic structures as it forms with
isms (bacteria and algae) removes CO2 from biogenic processes of algae and cyanobacteria.
the water causing the secretion of calcite or Many oncoids wrap beads formed by incrusta-
aragonite. It is believed that the growth of ma- tion of larger number of such organisms, most
rine ooids need between 100 and 1000 years. of them but not all, contain a clearly discernible
The growth of ooids as shown by their concen- nucleus around which created such a small accu-
tric structure is not continuous, but in the mulation of biogenic carbonate material.
growth of the membranes or concentric Oncoids can have very different forms of reg-
laminae, there is a relatively long time lagdno ular concentric spherical arrangement as their
growth phasedin which the surfaces were shape depends on whether they have nucleus
exposed to weaker abrasion or bioerosion oper- or not, what is the shape of the nucleus, and
ation of endolith organisms. the fact in which the direction fibers are faster
Oolites, a sedimentary rock formed from ooids growing. If oncoid have no nucleus or it is small,
(Figs 5.51 and 5.57), play an important role in the their shape is usually spherical, and construction
reconstruction of the conditions and environ- is nearly concentric. If peloids have a large nu-
ment of deposition, particularly with regard to cleus, flat or plate shape, which is often the
depth, salinity and water energy. It also serves case when the nucleus is bioclast of shell, then

Type C

Type R Type I

FIGURE 5.52 Structure and internal structure of oncoid type C, R and I.

oncoid is elongated (type C in Fig. 5.52). If Coated bioclasts are grains composed of frag-
oncoids have more irregular shape with a semi- ments of skeleton, i.e. bioclast, and thinner or
circular laminar structure, the environment was thicker micrite membrane at its surface. Mem-
calm with only occasional tumbling of oncoid brane occurs in processes of micritization by ac-
with stronger currents or storm waves (type R tivity of cyanobacteria, fungi that drill ground
and I in Fig. 5.52). where grows. The life activity of
Similar to ooids, oncoids are good indicators organisms that inhabit the surface of bioclast,
of environmental conditions and precipitation, resulting small bore in diameter 2e30 mm of
and as a rule they occur in very shallow water, tubular shape. The holes are filled with dense
mainly in the lagoons with a low supply of water fine micrite, probably the product of the secre-
and sediment accumulation at low speed. Specif- tion of carbonate through the mediation of bacte-
ically, at the rapid sedimentation, backfilling oc- ria after death of organisms. The newly formed
curs before finishing the growth of oncoids, and bioclasts occur in calm, protected shallows and
rapid sedimentation prevents the growth of or- lagoons with depth not exceeding 15e20 m.
ganisms involved in the accumulation of carbon- The algae, cyanobacteria and fungi that drill
ate and growth of oncoids. the surface cannot settle on grains due to
constant wear, abrasion and grind against each
other in water with high energy. The coated bio-
clasts are often found in limestone (greystone
and rudstone) deposited on tidal sandbanks
and shallow water with high energy and con-
stant activity of the waves. They arrive after
the flooding and throwing with severe tidal cur-
rents and storm waves from nearby protected
shallows or the lagoons environment.
Stromatolites are organic sedimentary struc-
tures (Fig. 8.17) formed by trapping, binding
and/or secretion of sediment by activity of mi-
croorganisms, primarily cyanobacteria. The
FIGURE 5.53 Stromatolites with changes of dark micrite
firmly lithified stromatolite fossils are lami- lamina and light sparite lamina. Light laminae presents
nated wavy, thick laminated or dome thick fenestrations emerged in decay of “cyanobacterial mats” that
laminated carbonate rocks formed by binding are later filled with cement and sparite represents individual
and trapping of carbonate mud and other tiny fecal pellets.
carbonate deposits on the cyanobacterial mats.
Recent stromatolites are composed of organic
secretion of calcite, aragonite or magnesium-
and inorganic laminae frequently exchanging
calcite cement in the pores by evaporation of
with each other vertically. Organic laminae
seawater. Stromatolites also preserve in subtidal
contain numerous genera of cyanobacteria.
zone due to the excretion of such mineral
The inorganic laminae include carbonate mud,
cement from hot calcium hydrogen carbonate
pellets, tiny skeletons or skeletal fragments of
supersaturated seawater. The secretion of car-
green algae, gastropods, ostracodes, benthic
bonate has essential role in the process of assim-
foraminifera of sediments flooded to “cyano-
ilation of cyanobacteria. The “cyanobacterial
bacterial mat” where the fibers are caught on
mats” are not preserved in the fossil stromato-
the mucus of cyanobacteria.
lites due to quick decay after being covered
Flooding of cyanobacterial mats during high
with sediment. The decay forms cavities or fen-
tide and drying during low tide emerge organic
estrations and subsequently filled with calcite
(algal and inorganic) limestone lamina
cement. Stromatolites with high fenestral
(Fig. 5.53). The carbonate sediment (mud, pellets,
porosity are characterized by high content of
skeletons and fragments of skeletons) accumu-
cement, various fenestra and modification of
lates on the mat during floods. There will be no
laminae composed of carbonate deposits
sedimentation during ebb. The moist muddy
(micrite, pellets, and fossils) with laminae
soil enables exuberant growth of blue-green
mostly made up only of cement. Stromatolites
algae, cyanobacteria overgrowing all the tide
are extremely important indicators of environ-
passed sediment. If the tide deposits large sedi-
ment of deposition.
ment on the mat (thick layer), cyanobacteria
Fossils, or skeletons and shells of organisms
cannot outgrow, wipe out and generate fenestra-
or their larger and smaller fragments in most of
tions (pores of special forms) creating high fenes-
the limestones are important primary structural
tral porosity in limestone.
components. They are located as follows:
In the tidal and supratidal zone, stromatolites
can easily be preserved, since the lithifaction im- 1. Skeleton or shells lithified on their habitat in a
proves with dehydration of residues and position of growth.

2. The whole skeleton and shell before skeletons, are called skeletal-limestone
sedimentation transferred by water currents, (Fig. 5.57(B)). The limestone, which largely con-
tides and waves. tains well-sorted bioclasts and/or skeletons in
3. Bioclasts, i.e. larger or smaller fragments of diameter between 0.063 and 2 mm, is called “bio-
skeletons and shells. calcarenites”, where “biocal” indicates biogenic
calcareous components, and “arenite” for the
The limestones of strict textural/structural
sand size. Accordingly, in connection with the
features are direct result of ecological, sedimen-
dimensions of bioclasts and the skeleton, lime-
tological and hydrodynamic conditions of depo-
stones which mostly contain fossil remains of
sition environment with each of these above
dimension >2 mm are called “biocalcrudite”,
modes of occurrence of fossils forms. Therefore,
and <0.063 mm as “biocalclutite” (Table 5.1).
limestones are predominantly composed of fos-
Siliciclastic terrigenic components of lime-
sils, one of the three groups, and have special
stone are detrite grains that are transferred to
sedimentologicalepetrological names (such as
the depositional area by water or air. The mate-
rudist limestone and foraminiferal limestones).
rial includes mainly quartz, clay minerals, rock
Sedimentological and petrographic labeling of
fragments, particles of volcanic material and
limestone is based on their textural/structural
heavy minerals. Most limestones contain little
and genetic features, depending on whether
terrigenic detritus, and fine size clay, silt and
consists of a skeleton and of organisms lithified
volcanic ash. The mineralogical and petro-
at the place and position of growth, of entire
graphic properties of these fine detritus grains
transported skeleton, or their fragments
can be investigated by X-ray only in the insol-
uble remains of limestone after dissolution in
The well-preserved skeletons or shells of or-
acetic, monochloracetic or diluted hydrochloric
ganisms lithified in position and place of growth
form organogenic ridge (Fig. 7.14), mostly built
Noncarbonate authigenic minerals in the
of limestone (Fig. 5.55). Such sedimentary bodies
limestones include anhydrite, gypsum, quartz,
are different according to morphological
chalcedony, opal, pyrite, glauconite, tourma-
line, albite, K-feldspar, muscovite and zircon.
1. Biostrome, which takes the form of layers or a Authigenic pyrite in the form of small grains
large lens with more or less concordant or aggregates is usually a product of life activ-
relationship with the rocks (Fig. 5.54(A)). ity of bacteria by sulfates reduction. Quartz,
2. Bioherma, irregular bulging sedimentary chalcedony and opal typically occur in pro-
body shape caused by lithifaction organisms cesses of silicification or suppression of lime-
in the position and location of growth stone mud or already hardened limestones.
(Fig. 5.54(B)). This is due to circulatory pore solutions con-
taining silica acid, dissolve carbonate and
Reef-building organisms grow following one secrete opal, chalcedony and quartz. Anhydrite
type of generation over another form of organo- and gypsum in the limestones may occur in the
genic reefs. These carbonate sedimentary bodies early diagenetic stage in the sabkha conditions.
can be significant reservoir rocks for oil and gas This happens by the secretion of calcium sulfate
(Section, often due to high porosity and from highly concentrated solutions in the evap-
permeability over large sizes. orite conditions, or during late diagenesis by
Limestones, which contain mostly bioclasts, suppressing of carbonates with sulfates with
are generally called bioclasts-limestone. The participation of pore solutions that contain sul-
limestones, that contain the whole of transported fate ions.

FIGURE 5.54 Morphological deposition of sediments with skeletal/shell organisms (A) regular growth layer Biostrome
and (B) irregular growth discordant relation Bioherm. Limestone Classification This is based on texture/structural features of

Limestones are classified into three main limestone, the relations of primary structural
types namely: (1) marine, (2) freshwater and (3) components: grains (intraclasts, pellets, pelloid,
terrestrial with respect to the origin. wrapped grains, bioclasts, and skeleton), carbon-
ate mud and calcite cement. Dunham classifica-
tion is more applicable in describing the field MARINE LIMESTONE and determining the limestone. Other classifica-
Marine limestones are the most common type tions have wider application in the microscopic
of carbonate rocks originated from the sea. study of limestone, often used for early diage-
Several classifications of marine limestone in netic dolomite. The classification systems are
the world today exist with the broadest applica- often used in field studies of limestone, as well
tion by Dunham12 and Embry and Klovan.14 as for the geology of oil.

Original components not Original components

bound together at deposition bound together
at deposition
>10% Components Lithifaction organisms on habitat
<10% Components has dimensions >2 mm
>2 mm and in a position of growth or
binding their components
Rocks contain mud – micrite Grains by life activity
MUD Grains
without have grain Organisms Organisms Organisms
<10% grain support who traps who bind who make
Compo- support in grain sediment sediment skeletal grid
nents has Grains with grains swim pores is (dendroid (cyano- (coral and
nents has
diameter diameter grain support in mud = secreted organisms) bacteria) coralinace)
0.03–2 mm 0.03–2 mm muddy cement
support Boundstone
(Mudstone) (Wackestone) (Packstone) (Grainstone) (Floatstone) (Rudstone) (Bafflestone) (Bindstone) (Framstone)

The limestone mud – micrite Cement

FIGURE 5.55 Limestone classification after Dunham12 with updates of Embry and Klovan.14

Dunham classification of limestones (Fig. 5.55) 2. Wackestone limestone that contains lime
is based on structural features, the presence or sludge and 10e50% of grain, which “swim” in
absence of carbonate mud, the relative propor- the mud, or a muddy, not grain support (Figs
tion of grains and mud, signs organogenic 5.46 and 5.56).
bonding skeletal over their development, lithifi- 3. Packstone limestone containing grains, which
cation on the place, and the position of growth. have granular support, touching each other
The system is simple and easy to apply, in the and support, and lime mud in intergranular
field description using limestone magnifier. pores (Fig. 5.55).
Limestone in which the primary structural 4. Grainstone does not contain lime sludge, but
components or nonskeletal and the skeletal only grains that have the mutual support, and
grains/carbonate mud are recrystallized, calcite cement secretes in intergranular pores
changed and converted into calcite crystalline (Figs 5.49e5.51 and 5.57(A)).
mass is called the crystalline limestone. 5. Boundstone limestone that contains
Besides the already mentioned crystalline, primary skeletal components (fossils) tied
Dunham12 distinguishes five more basic types together with sedimentation, lithificated on
of limestone: its habitat in the position of growth or the
individual components related to organisms,
1. Mudstone limestone which contain carbonate with the sedimentation and formation of
mud and <10% of the grain diameters biostrome, bioherm (Figs 5.54 and 5.55) or
between 0.03 and 2 mm (Fig. 5.55). stromatolite (Fig. 5.53).

(A) (B)

FIGURE 5.56 Micrite limestone wackestone type: (A) Pellet-wackestone is characterized by silty or matrix support of
pellets, and (B) skeletal-wackestone containing lime sludgedmicritedin which there are individual skeletons and bioclasts of
green algae.

(A) (B)

FIGURE 5.57 Greystone types of limestones are characterized by grain support and calcite cement in intergranular pores:
(A) greystone-ooid composed of ooids and calcite cement excreted in the intergranular pores, and (B) Bioclastics rudstone
contains fragments (bioclasts) >2 mm and cemented with calcite cement.

Dunham classification was updated by into three new types: bafflestone, bindstone
the Klovan and Embry (1972) by introducing and framestone, depending on the structure
two new types of rocks: floatstone and rud- and the manner in which organisms are
stone, containing more than 10% of grain involved in the formation of these rocks
diameter >2 mm. Baundstones are divided (Fig. 5.55).

Floatstone contains more than 10% of compo- of biogenous origin belongs to the freshwater
nents larger than 2 mm without grain mutual stromatolites formed by capturing and binding
support. Floatstone is analogous to wackestone, of carbonate sediments on the fibers and mucus
but contains grains >2 mm by texturalestruc- of cyanobacteria and mosses. Lacustrine lime-
tural features (Fig. 5.55). stone often enriched by oncoid and belongs to
Rudstone and floatstone differs in that the oncoids group arising by cyanobacteria wrap-
components are >2 mm with grain mutual sup- ping of bioclastics or shells of gastropods and
port and between them calcite cement is rock fragments.
extracted making rudstone analogous to grey- Thin lamination or microlamination of lake
stone that contain more than 10% of grains limestone manifests as frequent changes of two
>2 mm (Figs 5.55 and 5.57(B)). or three lithological types of very thin lamina.
Bafflestone, bindstone and framestone are spe- Most common is the two-type rhythmic changes
cial types of baundstone (Fig. 5.55) occur of lamina: carbonate and fine-grained siliciclastic
through organisms that catch sediment (baffle- (silt, silt clay, clay or marl). Rhythmic change of
stone) organisms to bind themselves to carbon- three lamina types is often found in the lacustrine
ate mud and fine-ground sediment (bindstone limestone: carbonate, siliciclastic and diatoma-
or stromatolites), or organisms whose skeletons ceous. Such lamination can be identified
form the skeletal lattice, such as coral reefs (fra- analyzing the process of formation of “varve”
mestone), as shown in Figs 5.54 and 5.55. (annual layer of sedimentation/sedimentary
Dunham classification is necessary to use the rocks). The rhythmic layers are the result of sea-
adjective that defines the dominant type of grain sonal changes in lake water related depositional
which contains limestone, for example pellet- processes or periodic changes in the amount of
wackestone (Fig. 5.56(A)), greystone-pellet input of finely granulate sediment into the lake
(Fig. 5.50), skeletal-wackestone (Fig. 5.56(B)) during the change of seasons. The amount of
greystone-ooid (Figs 5.51 and 5.57(A)) or excrete carbonate in lake water is directly related
bioclastic-rudstone (Fig. 5.57(B)). to the seasonal changes of water temperature.
The water surface of the lake is more heated dur- TERRESTRIAL AND FRESHWATER ing the warm seasons (late spring, summer and
LIMESTONE early autumn). Therefore, the phytoplankton
Freshwater limestone forms from freshwater bacteria secrete low-magnesium calcite by the
and limestone that occurs on land, outside the photosynthetic process in the form of tiny crys-
lakes and rivers, are called terrestrial limestone. tals (deposition of thin light calcite micrite lam-
Lacustrine precipitated in lake environment is ina). The chilly water of the cold seasons (late
among the most important petrogenic fresh- fall, winter and early spring) is not suitable to
water limestone. In the lake and river environ- excrete carbonates other than small deposition
ments, inorganic limestone extraction is a of finely granulate siliciclastic detritus (dust, silt
consequence of changes in pressure and/or tem- and clay). The lake water provides more luxu-
perature, and removal of CO2 from the water riant development of phytoplankton with the in-
due to assimilation processes of plants and/or crease in the temperature. This causes increased
phytoplankton (such as in Plitvice Lakes, consumption of CO2 and thus enhances the secre-
Croatia), evaporation in arid climate areas, or tion of CaCO3. The rapid development of diato-
mixing water with different pH, common in maceous flourishing algae and rich diatoms
rivers and lakes. General texturalestructural fea- during the spring and early summer can cause
tures of lake limestone are thin lamination and increased amounts of deposition of opal skeleton
wrapped grain. Large amount of lake limestone and formation of thin diatomite lamina.
A good example would be that thinly lami- pressure/temperature conditions in the spray-
nated freshwater lake limestone deposits are ing of water or its warming. The famous traver-
located in the Sarmatian Pannonian Basin lead- tine barriers on waterfalls were formed in this
ing to well drilling in many oil fields of eastern way. The other example is the case of the Plitvice
Slavonia, Croatia. These rocks record changes lakes and waterfalls and river Krka and Una,
in carbonate and clayey lamina bands of thick- Croatia. These barriers consist of calcite or
ness between 0.2 and 1.5 mm. Among the grains low-magnesium calcite in the form of irregular
of biogenous foundation in lake limestone are masses of limestone mud, micrite cover or shell,
the most important oncoids incurred through secreted on the remains of aquatic plants (moss,
cyanobacteria and green algae in the shallow grass, fibers of cyanobacteria and branches of
waves and weak lake water. trees), as well as in form of sparite crystals that
Terrestrial limestone includes limestone fill the pores of different origin. It also contains
cover (sinter), travertine, crust limestone and small amount of detrite material, mostly quartz
cave limestone or speleothems. Limestone sin- grains in size of powder, fine sand, muscovite
ters are highly porous, typically soft and form and clay minerals. It is very common events
on the waterfalls of rivers and lake by secretion that thin films or fine carbonate mud (micrite)
of calcite on moss, cyanobacteria and aquatic quickly envelop water plants growing in the
plants (Fig. 5.58). This process is particularly river or lake, trees in the water or its branches,
intense in the splash of waterfalls. The extraction fragments of limestone and dolomite, and frag-
of CaCO3 due to release of CO2 from water con- ments of destroyed travertine barriers. Micrite
taining Ca-hydrogen as photosynthetic pro- shell and irregular masses make irregularly built
cesses of plants and due to changes in skeleton or grid barriers, and rapid incrustation
occur more or less solid mass from which
“grow” travertine barriers.
Large porosity of travertine is partly a result of
rotting organic tissues of water plants and/or cya-
nobacteria, and partly they are dissolution cavity
or cavities in which there was CO2 and/or other
gases formed by oxidation of organic matter. It
is known that limestone barriers on the waterfalls
of rivers and lakes occur mainly at temperatures
between 10 and 30  C with the annual accumula-
tion of carbonates by 1e3 cm “growth” of traver-
tine barriers, thus increasing the level of the
lake. However, most of the secretion occurs in
hot water during the summer months.
Travertine is lithified firm, spongy, cell built,
irregularly laminated or layered limestone
formed mainly by inorganic calcite secretion
from the warm water around thermal springs,
geysers, mineral water rich in carbonate and
CO2 or from hot sulfate springs. With high
FIGURE 5.58 The limestone travertine: calcite clusters porosity and relatively high hardness, travertine
with numerous small and large holes (molds) of now rotten is characterized by different texturalestructural
plant remains, Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. features: a thin and irregular lamination, and

cell-like material (Fig. 5.59). Travertine deposi- calcite crust with thickness up to several centi-
tion is a consequence of secretion of CaCO3 meters. It also forms pisoids, partially formed
due to inorganic and organic release of CO2 at biogenic cryptocrystalline lumps and bacterial
raised temperature in relation to the environ- pisoids composed of calcite crystals in diameter
ment at the time of its outbreak to the surface of 0.5e20 mm.
of the Earth in hot springs. Travertine may be Crusty limestone includes terrestrial limestone
of origin in participation of both inorganic also rocks known as “caliche” or “calcrete” which
organic processes related to the activity of bacte- occur in semiarid and arid areas with dry climate
ria that live in a “meadow” and/or bacterial and annual rainfall between 200 and 600 mm.
coating on surfaces repeatedly or continuously The evaporation of water from soil is greater
covered by hot water. Temperatures of thermal than the total annual rainfall. The pore water is
water sources from which travertine arises are saturated in Ca hydrogen, rises to the surface
ranging between 20 and 95  C. The annual accu- due to strong evaporation and forms calcite in
mulation (portion of “growth” of travertine in the form of secreted crust clusters, caliche or cal-
hot spring) is quite uneven and varies from a crete. Crusty limestones usually have small thick-
few millimeters to 20 cm. In many cases there is ness of the crust. This is an important indicator of
a connection between the deposition of traver- paleoclimatic conditions, interpretation of envi-
tine from hot water and volcanic activity, as ronment and carbonate deposition and indicator
testified by the frequent association of travertine of fine marine sedimentation, or vadose diagen-
and volcanites. esis or subaerial spending of limestone.
Carbonate components occur by inorganic Cave limestone or dripstone is “stalactites”
processes are consist of large rhombohedral formed around water dripping, saturated in
calcite crystals in the form of sparite cement or Ca-bicarbonate in the limestone caves and
cavern. Cave limestones that grow from the floor
upward are called stalagmites. Stalactites often
join stalagmites to create “stalagmate” (Fig.
5.60). Stalactites grow due to the secretion of

FIGURE 5.59 Firmly lithified spongy, cell-like built

travertine originated by calcite secretion from the warm FIGURE 5.60 Stalactiteestalagmite. Source: University of
waters around the thermal springs. Missouri.
calcite from the evaporation of water droplets Diagenetic processes in marine zone occur in
hanging from the ceiling of a thin film of water sediments that are soaked with seawater at the
that drenched the rock, and the sudden release bottom of the shallow or deeper sea, the tidal
of CO2 from the water saturated in Ca- flats and shores. In open marine environments
bicarbonate in the moment of impact of water or in the marine area, diagenetic processes
droplets that cap in a cave. strongly depend on water depth and, geograph-
ical location, and on tidal flats, shores, the most Limestone Diagenesis important factor is climate. The temperature DIAGENETIC ZONES AND PROCESSES and pressure of seawater has great role in the
OF CEMENTIZATION diagenetic process of limestone sediments due
The solid limestone rock of present day occur to lowering of the warm water from the surface
by early and late-diagenetic processes/conver- to deeper/cooler parts of the sea/ocean depth.
sion of water saturated primary hard and soft This further modified by photosynthetic pro-
bulk of limestone sludge and grains under spe- cesses with the role of marine plants and animals
cific zones (location) and environmental condi- in the content of CO2 dissolved in water in the
tion such as the following: form of hydrogen carbonate. The large differ-
ences in physical and chemical conditions pre-
1. Diagenetic processes in marine zone (1 in vailing in marine diagenetic zone in shallower
Fig. 5.61) areas and at depths usually distinguish between
2. Diagenetic processes evaporation zone (2 in two main marine diagenetic zones: shallow-sea
Fig. 5.61), diagenetic zone and deep sea diagenetic zone.
3. Diagenetic processes in condition of mixed Shallow-sea diagenetic zone is the area signif-
zone with meteoric and seawater (3 in icant for diagenetic processes of cementization or
Fig. 5.61) secretion of fibrous aragonite and Mg-calcite
4. Diagenetic processes in condition of meteoric cement in the pores of carbonate deposits.
and vadose zone (4a and 4b in Fig. 5.61) Deep-sea diagenetic zone is characterized by
5. Diagenetic processes in greater depth overlay pore water unsaturated with aragonite. Only
(5 in Fig. 5.61). the mosaic (blocky) calcite cement secretes with

FIGURE 5.61 Schematic diagram of diagenetic zones of carbonate sediments.


the dissolution of aragonite above CCD bound- conditions, i.e. the pores are either filled with
ary line. There is no secretion or calcite cement air in the summer and with freshwater in the
below this line with the dissolution of calcite in- rainy period. All meteoric (rain) water flow to
gredients. Kohout convection is the circulation of the sea through the vadose region play key role
saline groundwater deep within carbonate plat- in the diagenetic process in met-stable carbonate
forms. In the deep-sea diagenetic zone, very sediments. In areas with heavy rainfall and
slow process of dolomitization occurs due to porous deposit, meteoric water is quickly mov-
thermal convection and saturation of seawater ing through the surface of the sediment and
with respect to dolomite (Section thereby powerfully dissolves limestone sedi-
Diagenetic processes occur in evaporation ments. This process leads to increased concentra-
zone when strong evaporation of seawater tions of Ca-hydrogen carbonate, so that
from the saline or sabkha, and the pores of lime- evaporation of rainwater in dry periods during
stone deposits around in areas with dry, arid the porous carbonate deposits, leads to secretion
climate. In addition to the secretion of aragonite, of calcite in the form of microstalactite calcite, or
there is early diagenetic dolomitization (Section mosaic cement as well as secretion of vadose and secretions of evaporites minerals ooids.
say gypsum, anhydrite and halite (Section 5.8.1).
Diagenetic processes in condition of mixed DIAGENETIC PROCESSES
meteoric and marine (brackish) water occur in AT GREATER DEPTHS OF COVERING
underground mixed zone where mixing mete- Diagenetic processes in deposit located at
oric (rain) sweet and salty seawater. This zone greater depth are covered with new thicker sed-
is very variable in shape, spread and geometry iments (Fig. 5.61) and no longer operate diage-
in depth and laterally. Depending on the oscilla- netic processes appropriate for surface and
tion of sea level, underground mixed zone subsurface conditions. The depth of the overlay
moves farther from the sea towards the land is not yet enough to act metamorphic processes
(relative upper sea level), or from the mainland, (depth >5500e6600 m). This diagenetic area is
extending from the coast towards the sea (rela- interrupted by free exchange of fluid and chem-
tively lower sea level), which is especially impor- ically active atmospheric gases, particularly ox-
tant for dolomitization processes (Section ygen and CO2, and progressively increasing
and Fig. 5.67). the temperature and pressure. The porosity de-
Diagenetic processes in meteoric zone (sweet creases drastically by compaction processes
water pore) taking place or in meteoric zone or and significantly reduces the ability to change
vadose zone (Fig. 5.61). fluids. Pore fluids have already suffered changes
Meteoric zone is the region below the basal in the composition because of the interaction
levels of freshwater, in which deposits are and mixing of ions contained in the original
continuously soaked with fresh basic water pore water and fluids originating from the sur-
(Fig. 5.61). There is sweet pore water poor in rounding sediments, particularly those related
Mg2þ and Naþ ions, and generally oversaturated to compaction flow. The water squeezes in the
with Ca2þ ions, and so is excreted calcite mosaic compaction of deposit. Porosity reducing of
and “blocky” cements. limestone deposits is the most significant result
Vadose zone is the area above the permanent of diagenesis at greater depths of covering,
level of basic freshwater in which the pores in the and as a result of mechanical and chemical
rock filled with water occasionally during the compaction (pressure melting) and cementiza-
rainfall and the residual rainwater (Fig. 5.61). tion as a result of drainage sparite Druze calcite
Most of the time sediments are in subair cement.
Compaction includes processes of mechanical began breaking the grain, and at depths
compaction, squeezing water and chemical >300 m pressure melting processes. The
compaction related to pressure dissolution and porosity of pelagic mud gradually further re-
formation of “stilolite” (serrated surface). Me- duces (Fig. 5.62).
chanical compaction and squeezing of water Shelf carbonate mud (Fig. 5.62) has signifi-
have a significant impact only in the mud, cantly different compaction in pelagic mud. It
deep water carbonate deposit, especially pelagic mainly consists of elongated particles and
mud and chalky deposit (Fig. 5.62). needle-like, not isometric, shape, whereby the
Pelagic mud and chalky deposit i.e. deposits needles of aragonite act bipolar bind water mol-
which contain scaffolding of the sea or plank- ecules. The structure of carbonate mud looks like
tonic organisms, have high primary total “honeycomb” or “structure of the house of
porosity (w80%) of which intergranular cards” clay deposits. The effects of squeezing
porosity accounts for w35% after deposition. the water reduce considerably higher than those
The porosity is reduced to w65% and less, due at pelagic mud. The primary total porosity of
to the rapid redeployment of squeezing water, w70% reduces to w40% after restructuring of
reduction of isometric keletal grain size, me- needle particles in the horizontal position at a
chanical reorganization of grains and change depth of 100 m and then do not change until
of the structure of deposits, at a depth 50 m of the beginning of the process of pressure melting
covering. At depths between 50 and 200 m at w300 m depth (Fig. 5.62).

Porosity (%)
0 20 40 60 80
0 r
Mechanical te
f wa
restructuring no
es sio

xpr Mechanical
grai ated


100 restructuring

g of
Depth of overlay (m)



dissolu ssion
dissolu ssion

dissolu ssion

300 Pelagic





400 mud

0 20 40 60 80

FIGURE 5.62 Diagrams of changes in porosity with increasing depth of the overlay with schematic representation of the
main processes that lead to changes in the pelagic chalky mud and deposit, shelf carbonate mud and ooid, peloid and
bioclastics limestone sands. Source: Modified after Scholle40; Enoch and Sawatsky.16

Carbonate sands have grain support. After Sections and, bioerosion,
cementization greystone types of limestone, micritization of carbonate grains and activity or-
characterized by significantly different effects ganisms (endolithic) that drill foundation on
of mechanical compaction and squeezing of wa- which they grow and recrystallization of lime-
ter from pelagic mud and shelf carbonate mud stone sludge (micrite) and microcrystalline
(Fig. 5.62). Primary intergranular porosity of calcite in microcrystalline and/or macrocrystal-
ooid or peloid sands is less than previously line calcite or conversion of limestone type
stated mud and chalky sludge due to sphere mudstone, wackestone and floatstone in crystal-
grain shape. There will be stronger decrease of line limestone (Section; Fig. 5.55).
porosity in the first 50 m depth of the overlay. Allochemical diagenetic processes in limestone
The original 40% will reduce to 30% (Fig. 5.62) lead to changes in chemical composition of lime-
due to redeployment of spherical grains of un- stone and limestone deposits by circulation of
stable rhombohedral, more porous in stable, pores solutions that bring into some other chem-
less porous cubic grain packing. The pressure ical compounds and anions (such as Mg2þ and
melting starts at the grain contacts to about Si4þ cations and SO2 4 anion, and borrowing
300 m depth (Fig. 5.62). Ca2þ and CO2 3 ). Most significant allochemical
Chemical compaction includes processes of diagenetic processes in limestone are silicifica-
pressure melting on contact with the formation tion, anhydratization and dolomitization.
of stilolite at depths of covering of few hundreds Silicification is an allochemical diagenetic pro-
to a thousand or more meters. Stilolitization cess in which solution enriched with Si-ions, usu-
significantly reduce the porosity and the total ally in the form of silicic acid (H4SiO4) in
thickness of limestone deposits. carbonate rocks suppress calcite, aragonite and
Cementization at greater depths of covering dolomite with opal, chalcedony or low-
in the limestone sediments are mainly down to temperature quartz, meaning, silicon hydroxides
the secretion of coarse crystal calcite cement or oxides, and dissolved carbonates taking in the
and/or iron dolomite (baroque dolomite). form of Ca-hydrogen carbonate. Like other allo-
Baroque iron dolomite typically contains 15 or chemical diagenetic processes, silicification may
more molar percent FeCO3, and occurs with induce another untied and unlithified deposit
the participation of hydrocarbons at greater at the early diagenetic stage, or already rigid
depths of covering at temperatures between 60 and solid rock is replaced during late-
and 150  C or fills voids or mineral substance diagenetic silicification. Silicification processes
that suppresses the surrounding carbonates in in limestone generates autogenous quartz, opal
the rock. or chalcedony in the form of single crystals or
crystal aggregates, and nodule, lump, lenticular ISOCHEMICAL AND ALLOCHEMICAL or implants of hornfels.
DIAGENETIC PROCESSES Anhydratization in carbonate rocks may be the
Isochemical diagenetic processes in limestone do process or forcing early diagenetic carbonate or
not lead to changes in chemical composition of anhydrite deposits, suppression of carbonate
limestone, but change only their porosity and minerals in the solid limestone or dolomite
structure. The most critical multifunctional anhydrite during late-diagenetic process, and
mechanisms are dissolution of some mineral secretion of anhydrite in the pores, cavities and
substances (halite and aragonite), transforma- veins of limestone, dolomite and other rocks in
tion of aragonite and magnesium calcite in the circulation of pores solution containing sul-
calcite, secretion of aragonite or calcite cement fate. Sulfate ions-rich solutions usually originate
in the pores (cementization summarized in from tidal saline (sabkha), or salt ponds or lakes
left in the recesses by tidal environment after the Limestone enjoys major shares of sedimentary
withdrawal of the sea. Early diagenetic anhy- rocks in the Earth’s crust. It is easily identifiable
dratization in such environments requires due to softness, color, texture and instant effer-
strong evaporation with increasing temperature vescences with hydrochloric acid (HCl). The nat-
and a permanent increase in salinity (“sabkha- ural landscape of limestone gives an excellent
conditions”). Late-diagenetic anhydratization panorama in the country sides (Fig. 5.63).
occurs during circulation of pores water con- Limestone is readily available, relatively easy
taining SO2 4 -ions through the rigid carbonate to cut into blocks/carving and long lasting.
rocks, with the suppression of carbon com- Limestone is very common in architecture and
pounds anhydrite. Such suppression will be of sculpture across the World (to name a few Great
unequal intensity, irregular, and often in the Pyramid, Egypt, Courthouse building, Manhat-
rock selectively anhydratizationed only some tan, USA, Golden Fort, India), historical monu-
components, while others remain largely fully ments and buildings. It is the primary raw
preserved. In late-diagenetic anhydratization material for the manufacture of quicklime (cal-
with large anhydrite crystals in limestone are cium oxide), slaked like (calcium hydroxide),
usually found numerous tectonic venation, cav- cement and mortar, as flux in the blast furnace
ities and pores filled with anhydrite crystal ag- in iron industry, soil conditioner, aggregate,
gregates as a result of secretion of anhydrite glass making, paper, plastics, paint, tooth paste,
from solution that are circulated in these rocks. medicines and cosmetics. The fossil bearing (cya-
Dolomitization is the most important and nobacteria algae, skeletons and shells) lime-
common allochemical diagenetic process that en- stones are potential sources of phosphate,
gages the limestone deposits and limestone, and petroleum and gas.
turning them into dolomitic limestone or dolo-
stone or simply dolomite. Dolomitization is a
process by which dolomite is formed when mag-
5.7.2. Dolomites
nesium ions replace calcium ions in calcite. It in- Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of
volves substantial amount of recrystallization. calcium magnesium carbonate [CaMg(CO3)2]

FIGURE 5.63 High NeS trending low-dip hills at the east bank of river Nile stands for an vast resource of commercial
quality limestone (top of the picture). The river cruse near Esna town, Egypt, presents a typical landscape with luxuriant
growth of date palm trees in the middle and the flowing Nile water in the foreground.

Mg-carbonate with a crystal lattice in which the

properly sorted layers of CaCO3 of calcite struc-
ture and layers of MgCO3. The main obstacle for
producing minerals dolomite from seawater re-
quires complex arrangement of its crystal lattice
with respect to calcite crystal lattice, aragonite
and high-magnesium calcite due to much easier
excretion from seawater than dolomite. The
dolomitization in normal seawater may occur
as special cases (Section
The process of transforming calcite or arago-
nite to dolomite by bringing in Mg-ions can be
shown by the following chemical reaction. The
calcite (or limestone) joins Mg-ion in solution
FIGURE 5.64 Massive dolomites, sedimentary carbonate and removes free Ca-ion:
rock hosting zincelead mineralization from Zawar Mine,
Rajasthan, India. The brownish yellow color in the top right 2CaCO3 þ Mg2þ ƒƒƒ! CaMgðCO3 Þ2 þCa2þ
hand of the specimen indicates sphalerite (ZnS) minerals. calcite dolomite
The process of dolomitization by this reaction
(Fig. 5.64). The term is also used to describe the can be achieved only in the presence of solvent,
sedimentary carbonate rock “dolostone/dolo- that adds Mg-ions to the new formed rock, and
mite rock” predominantly composed of the min- excludes free-Ca ions. In nature, dolomitization
eral dolomite 50% magnesium. is actually happening by the following: The Origin of Dolomite 1. Bringing in Mg-ion

2. Releasing of carbonate anions CO2
Dolomites are carbonate rocks mainly
3. Consumption of all available Ca-ions and not
composed of the mineral dolomite. The mineral
needed thereafter to remove Ca-ions from
is stable in seawater in nature and not known ex-