Graphic granite in thin section

Graphic granite in thin section

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Granite is formed at great depth, by the solidification of magma. Graphic granite is a particular variety, in which the two essential rock forming minerals, quartz and feldspar, have solidified eutectically (= simultaneously). This results in an orderly pattern: the quartz solidifies in the shape of hieroglyphs, which are embedded in a matrix of patchy, mono-crystalline feldspar. These characteristics come out well in the thin section here photographed in polarised, transient light. Actual size is 27 x 35 mm.

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Keywords: eutectic, feldspar, granite, graphic, hieroglyphs, pattern, quartz, thin-sectio

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