Polarised LM of thin section of igneous rock

Polarised LM of thin section of igneous rock

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Credit: MIKE MCNAMEE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cross polarised light micrograph of a thin section of igneous rock showing a process known as crystal zoning. The section is dominated by large crystals of the mineral plagioclase feldspar. Large crystals, like these, embedded in a fine grained matrix are known as phenocrysts. These phenocrysts are all zoned; the blue & green hexagon at lower right being the most clearly marked. Zoning is an indication of the changing chemical composition of a crystal during its growth, prior to solidification. The crystal is not uniform in composition throughout its volume. Under cross polarised light the crystal appears two-toned. Magnification x2.5 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: crystal, crystal zoning, earth science, feldspar, geological, geology, light micrograph, phenocryst, plagioclase, plagioclase feldspar, rock, rocks, zoning

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