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quartzite

quartzite

SRI Petrography ID: 48

Names

[de] Quarzit
[en] quartzite

Description

Quartzite is a rock composed of firmly cemented quartz grains. It results from recrystallization of pure quartz sandstone by metamorphosis (so called metaquartzites). Often quartzites are white or light coloured but can also be coloured more intensively.
Most quartzites are metamorphic, but there also exists sedimentary quartzite, resulting from cementation of quartz sand by silica-rich groundwater solutions (so called orthoquartzites).

Color

Mostly light coloured: white, sometimes light gray, yellowish, light brown. There also exist coloured varieties by included minerals: blue, green, purple, or black.

Grain Size

(medium to) coarse grained, often with isolated quartz pebbles

Texture

massive, sometimes banded/foliated

Minerals

quartz, small amounts of iron oxides, rutile, mica, carbonates, chlorite, tourmaline needles

Occurences

USA, UK, Canada (Ontario)

Comments

While sandstone fractures between the sand grains, quartzite fractures across its constituent grains of sand.
Quartzites are resistant against weathering and therefore often form hills or mountains.
Since quartzites can occur as large masses it was and is still used as building stone.

Orthoquartzite: mostly very pure quartz (99%) composed of well rounded quartz grains. Original texture and sedimentary structures are usually preserved.

Classification

Class

METAMORPHIC ROCKS

Broader Terms

sedimentary protolith

Narrower Terms

Austria-quartzite

Brazil-quartzite

Greece-quartzite

Italy-quartzite

Poland-quartzite