Heinrich, E. William Formerly, Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Igneous rocks
- Sedimentary rocks
- Metamorphic rocks
- Physical properties and behavior
- Rock cycle
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A relatively common aggregate of mineral grains. Some rocks consist essentially of but one mineral species (monomineralic, such as quartzite, composed of quartz); others consist of two or more minerals (polymineralic, such as granite, composed of quartz, feldspar, and biotite). Rock names are not given for those rare combinations of minerals that constitute ore deposits, such as quartz, pyrite, and gold. In the popular sense rock is considered also to denote a compact substance, one with some coherence; but geologically, friable volcanic ash also is a rock. A genetic classification of rocks follows:
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