Kudo, Albert M. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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The plutonic equivalent of its more abundant extrusive equivalent, basalt. Because gabbro crystallized from a magma intruded deep within the crust, it has a grain size visible to the naked eye with approximately equal amounts of calcic plagioclase (with 50% or more anorthite, the calcium aluminum feldspar) and pyroxene (Fig. 1). Olivine is common as an early crystallized mineral, but either nepheline or quartz could be a late-stage crystallization product found in the matrix. Hornblende or biotite is commonly formed as an alteration product of pyroxene during the late stages of the magmatic crystallization, when water becomes enriched in the residual magma. See also: Biotite; Hornblende
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