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Granite ( /ˈɡrænɪt/) is a coarse-grained igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly solidifies underground. It is common in the Earth's continental crust, where it is found in bodies called plutons. These range in size from dikes only a few inches across to batholiths exposed over hundreds of square kilometers.

Granite is typical of a larger family of granitic rocks that are composed mostly of coarse-grained quartz and feldspars in varying proportions. These rocks are classified by the relative percentages of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase (the QAPF classification), with true granite representing granitic rocks rich in quartz and alkali feldspar. Most granitic rocks also contain mica or amphibole minerals, though a few (known as leucogranites) contain almost no dark minerals.

A microscopic picture of granite

Granite is nearly always massive (lacking any internal structures), hard, and tough. These properties have made granite a widespread construction stone throughout human history.

Description

QAPF diagram with granite field highlighted in yellow
Mineral assemblage of igneous rocks

The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a completely crystalline rock.[1] Granitic rocks mainly consist of feldspar, quartz, mica, and amphibole minerals, which form an interlocking, somewhat equigranular matrix of feldspar and quartz with scattered darker biotite mica and amphibole (often hornblende) peppering the lighter color minerals. Occasionally some individual crystals (phenocrysts) are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic texture is known as a granite porphyry. Granitoid is a general, descriptive field term for lighter-colored, coarse-grained igneous rocks. Petrographic examination is required for identification of specific types of granitoids. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy.[2]

The alkali feldspar in granites is typically orthoclase or microcline and is often perthitic. The plagioclase is typically sodium-rich oligoclase. Phenocrysts are usually alkali feldspar.[3]

Granitic rocks are classified according to the QAPF diagram for coarse grained plutonic rocks and are named according to the percentage of quartz, alkali feldspar (orthoclase, sanidine, or microcline) and plagioclase feldspar on the A-Q-P half of the diagram. True granite (according to modern petrologic convention) contains between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, with 35% to 90% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar. Graniti

Granite is typical of a larger family of granitic rocks that are composed mostly of coarse-grained quartz and feldspars in varying proportions. These rocks are classified by the relative percentages of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase (the QAPF classification), with true granite representing granitic rocks rich in quartz and alkali feldspar. Most granitic rocks also contain mica or amphibole minerals, though a few (known as leucogranites) contain almost no dark minerals.

Granite is nearly always massive (lacking any internal structures), hard, and tough. These properties have made granite a widespread construction stone throughout human history.

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Picrite basalt

Peridotite

Basalt
Diabase (Dolerite)
Gabbro

Andesite
Microdiorite
Diorite

Dacite
Microgranodiorite
Granodiorite

Rhyolite
Microgranite
Granite