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This page is about a volcanic rock. For the ghost town see Rhyolite, Nevada, and for the satellite system, see Rhyolite/Aquacade.
Additional recommended knowledge
Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic (extrusive) rock, of felsic (silicon-rich) composition (typically >69% SiO2 — see the TAS classification. It may have any texture from aphanitic to porphyritic. The mineral assemblage is usually quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase (in a ratio > 1:2 — see the QAPF diagram). Biotite and pyroxene are common accessory minerals.
Rhyolite can be considered as the extrusive equivalent to the plutonic granite rock, and consequently, outcroppings of it often bear a resemblance to granite. Due to their high content of silica and low iron and magnesium contents, rhyolites polymerize quickly and form highly viscous lavas. They can also occur as breccias or in volcanic necks and dykes. Rhyolites that cool too quickly to grow crystals form a natural glass or vitrophyre, also called obsidian. Slower cooling forms microscopic crystals in the lava and results in textures such as flow foliations, spherulitic, nodular, and lithophysal structures.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rhyolite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|