Moss agate

Moss agate

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This image is part of the feature Rock Art

Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Moss agate. Cut and polished agate surface with colourful patterns formed from mineral impurities that were trapped as the agate formed. Agate is silica (silicon dioxide) that precipitated from liquid inside existing rock. Often, successive layers of precipitation are seen as the deposited silica fills hollows in the rock. The patterns are revealed by erosion or cutting the rock open, and pieces of agate are prized as ornaments. The tree- like (dendritic) patterns seen here are an agate pattern named moss agates. This scene is about 2 centimetres across.

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Keywords: agate, chalcedony, cut, dendrites, dendritic, earth science, geological, geology, manganese oxide, mineral, moss, pattern, patterned, patterns, polished, rock, rocks, section, sectioned, semi-precious, silica, silicon dioxide, stone, surface, tree, trees

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