Granite

Granite

Overview
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic
Felsic
The word "felsic" is a term used in geology to refer to silicate minerals, magma, and rocks which are enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium....

, igneous
Igneous rock
Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava...

 rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. 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 sometimes known as a porphyry
Porphyry (geology)
Porphyry is a variety of igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals, such as feldspar or quartz, dispersed in a fine-grained feldspathic matrix or groundmass. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts...

. Granites can be pink to gray in color, depending on their chemistry and mineralogy.
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Encyclopedia
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic
Felsic
The word "felsic" is a term used in geology to refer to silicate minerals, magma, and rocks which are enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium....

, igneous
Igneous rock
Igneous rock is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava...

 rock
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. 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 sometimes known as a porphyry
Porphyry (geology)
Porphyry is a variety of igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals, such as feldspar or quartz, dispersed in a fine-grained feldspathic matrix or groundmass. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts...

. Granites can be pink to gray in color, depending on their chemistry and mineralogy. By definition
QAPF diagram
A QAPF diagram is a double triangle diagram which is used to classify igneous rocks based on mineralogic composition. The acronym, QAPF, stands for "Quartz, Alkali feldspar, Plagioclase, Feldspathoid ". These are the mineral groups used for classification in QAPF diagram...

, granite is an igneous rock with at least 20% quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

 by volume. Granite differs from granodiorite
Granodiorite
Granodiorite is an intrusive igneous rock similar to granite, but containing more plagioclase than orthoclase-type feldspar. Officially, it is defined as a phaneritic igneous rock with greater than 20% quartz by volume where at least 65% of the feldspar is plagioclase. It usually contains abundant...

 in that at least 35% of the feldspar
Feldspar
Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust....

 in granite is alkali feldspar
Alkali feldspar
The alkali feldspar group are those feldspar minerals rich in the alkali elements like potassium. The alkali feldspars include: anorthoclase, microcline, orthoclase and sanidine....

 as opposed to plagioclase
Plagioclase
Plagioclase is an important series of tectosilicate minerals within the feldspar family. Rather than referring to a particular mineral with a specific chemical composition, plagioclase is a solid solution series, more properly known as the plagioclase feldspar series...

; it is the alkali feldspar that gives many granites a distinctive pink color. Outcrop
Outcrop
An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. -Features:Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial deposits are covered by a mantle of soil and vegetation and cannot be...

s of granite tend to form tors
Tor (geography)
A tor is a large, free-standing residual mass that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest...

 and rounded massif
Massif
In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole...

s. Granites sometimes occur in circular depression
Depression (geology)
A depression in geology is a landform sunken or depressed below the surrounding area. Depressions may be formed by various mechanisms.Structural or tectonic related:...

s surrounded by a range of hills, formed by the metamorphic aureole or hornfels
Hornfels
Hornfels is the group designation for a series of contact metamorphic rocks that have been baked and indurated by the heat of intrusive igneous masses and have been rendered...

. Granite is usually found in the continental plates of the Earth's crust.

Granite is nearly always massive (lacking internal structures), hard and tough, and therefore it has gained widespread use as a construction stone. The average density
Density
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

 of granite is between 2.65 and 2.75 g/cm3, its compressive strength usually lies above 200 MPa, and its viscosity
Viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

 near STP
Standard conditions for temperature and pressure
Standard condition for temperature and pressure are standard sets of conditions for experimental measurements established to allow comparisons to be made between different sets of data...

 is 3-6 • 1019 Pa·s.
Melting temperature is .

The word granite comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystal
Crystal
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography...

line rock.

Granitoid
Granitoid
A granitoid or granitic rock is a variety of coarse grained plutonic rock similar to granite which mineralogically are composed predominately of feldspar and quartz. Examples of granitoid rocks include granite, quartz monzonite, quartz diorite, syenite, granodiorite and trondhjemite. Many are...

 is a general, descriptive field term for light-colored, coarse-grained igneous rocks. Petrographic
Petrography
Petrography is a branch of petrology that focuses on detailed descriptions of rocks. Someone who studies petrography is called a petrographer. The mineral content and the textural relationships within the rock are described in detail. Petrographic descriptions start with the field notes at the...

 examination is required for identification of specific types of granitoids.

Mineralogy


Granite is classified according to the QAPF diagram
QAPF diagram
A QAPF diagram is a double triangle diagram which is used to classify igneous rocks based on mineralogic composition. The acronym, QAPF, stands for "Quartz, Alkali feldspar, Plagioclase, Feldspathoid ". These are the mineral groups used for classification in QAPF diagram...

 for coarse grained plutonic rocks
Pluton
A pluton in geology is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies...

 and is named according to the percentage of quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

, alkali feldspar
Feldspar
Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust....

 (orthoclase
Orthoclase
Orthoclase is an important tectosilicate mineral which forms igneous rock. The name is from the Greek for "straight fracture," because its two cleavage planes are at right angles to each other. Alternate names are alkali feldspar and potassium feldspar...

, sanidine
Sanidine
Sanidine is the high temperature form of potassium feldspar 4O8. Sanidine most typically occurs in felsic volcanic rocks such as obsidian, rhyolite and trachyte. Sanidine crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system. Orthoclase is a monoclinic polymorph stable at lower temperatures...

, or microcline
Microcline
Microcline is an important igneous rock-forming tectosilicate mineral. It is a potassium-rich alkali feldspar. Microcline typically contains minor amounts of sodium. It is common in granite and pegmatites. Microcline forms during slow cooling of orthoclase; it is more stable at lower temperatures...

) and plagioclase
Plagioclase
Plagioclase is an important series of tectosilicate minerals within the feldspar family. Rather than referring to a particular mineral with a specific chemical composition, plagioclase is a solid solution series, more properly known as the plagioclase feldspar series...

 feldspar on the A-Q-P half of the diagram. True granite according to modern petrologic
Petrology
Petrology is the branch of geology that studies rocks, and the conditions in which rocks form....

 convention contains both plagioclase and alkali feldspars. When a granitoid is devoid or nearly devoid of plagioclase, the rock is referred to as alkali granite. When a granitoid contains less than 10% orthoclase, it is called tonalite
Tonalite
Tonalite is an igneous, plutonic rock, of felsic composition, with phaneritic texture. Feldspar is present as plagioclase with 10% or less alkali feldspar. Quartz is present as more than 20% of the rock. Amphiboles and pyroxenes are common accessory minerals.In older references tonalite is...

; pyroxene
Pyroxene
The pyroxenes are a group of important rock-forming inosilicate minerals found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks. They share a common structure consisting of single chains of silica tetrahedra and they crystallize in the monoclinic and orthorhombic systems...

 and amphibole
Amphibole
Amphibole is the name of an important group of generally dark-colored rock-forming inosilicate minerals, composed of double chain tetrahedra, linked at the vertices and generally containing ions of iron and/or magnesium in their structures.-Mineralogy:...

 are common in tonalite. A granite containing both muscovite and biotite mica
Mica
The mica group of sheet silicate minerals includes several closely related materials having highly perfect basal cleavage. All are monoclinic, with a tendency towards pseudohexagonal crystals, and are similar in chemical composition...

s is called a binary or two-mica granite. Two-mica granites are typically high in potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

 and low in plagioclase, and are usually S-type granites or A-type granites. The volcanic
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

 equivalent of plutonic granite is rhyolite
Rhyolite
This page is about a volcanic rock. For the ghost town see Rhyolite, Nevada, and for the satellite system, see Rhyolite/Aquacade.Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock, of felsic composition . It may have any texture from glassy to aphanitic to porphyritic...

. Granite has poor primary permeability but strong secondary permeability.

Chemical composition


A worldwide average of the chemical composition of granite, by weight percent:
  • SiO2
    Silicon dioxide
    The chemical compound silicon dioxide, also known as silica , is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula '. It has been known for its hardness since antiquity...

     — 72.04% (silica)
  • Al2O3
    Aluminium oxide
    Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric oxide with the chemical formula 23. It is commonly referred to as alumina, or corundum in its crystalline form, as well as many other names, reflecting its widespread occurrence in nature and industry...

     — 14.42% (alumina)
  • K2O
    Potassium oxide
    Potassium oxide is an ionic compound of potassium and oxygen. This pale yellow solid, the simplest oxide of potassium, is a rarely encountered, highly reactive compound...

     — 4.12%
  • Na2O
    Sodium oxide
    Sodium oxide is a chemical compound with the formula Na2O. It is used in ceramics and glasses, though not in a raw form. Treatment with water affords sodium hydroxide....

     — 3.69%
  • CaO
    Calcium oxide
    Calcium oxide , commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound. It is a white, caustic, alkaline crystalline solid at room temperature....

     — 1.82%
  • FeO
    Iron(II) oxide
    Iron oxide, also known as ferrous oxide, is one of the iron oxides. It is a black-colored powder with the chemical formula . It consists of the chemical element iron in the oxidation state of 2 bonded to oxygen. Its mineral form is known as wüstite. Iron oxide should not be confused with rust,...

     — 1.68%
  • Fe2O3
    Iron(III) oxide
    Iron oxide or ferric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Fe2O3. It is one of the three main oxides of iron, the other two being iron oxide , which is rare, and iron oxide , which also occurs naturally as the mineral magnetite. As the mineral known as hematite, Fe2O3 is the main...

     — 1.22%
  • MgO
    Magnesium oxide
    Magnesium oxide , or magnesia, is a white hygroscopic solid mineral that occurs naturally as periclase and is a source of magnesium . It has an empirical formula of and consists of a lattice of Mg2+ ions and O2– ions held together by ionic bonds...

     — 0.71%
  • TiO2
    Titanium dioxide
    Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula . When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6, or CI 77891. Generally it comes in two different forms, rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of...

     — 0.30%
  • P2O5
    Phosphorus pentoxide
    Phosphorus pentoxide is a chemical compound with molecular formula P4O10 . This white crystalline solid is the anhydride of phosphoric acid. It is a powerful desiccant.-Structure:...

     — 0.12%
  • MnO
    Manganese(II) oxide
    Manganese oxide is the inorganic compound with formula MnO. MnO is a basic oxide that is insoluble in water but dissolves in acids, forming manganese salts.-Preparation and occurrence:...

     — 0.05%

Based on 2485 analyses

Occurrence


Granite is currently known only on Earth, where it forms a major part of continental crust
Continental crust
The continental crust is the layer of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as continental shelves. This layer is sometimes called sial due to more felsic, or granitic, bulk composition, which lies in...

. Granite often occurs as relatively small, less than 100 km² stock masses (stocks) and in batholith
Batholith
A batholith is a large emplacement of igneous intrusive rock that forms from cooled magma deep in the Earth's crust...

s that are often associated with orogenic
Orogeny
Orogeny refers to forces and events leading to a severe structural deformation of the Earth's crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. Response to such engagement results in the formation of long tracts of highly deformed rock called orogens or orogenic belts...

 mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 ranges. Small dikes
Dike (geology)
A dike or dyke in geology is a type of sheet intrusion referring to any geologic body that cuts discordantly across* planar wall rock structures, such as bedding or foliation...

 of granitic composition called aplite
Aplite
Aplite in petrology, the name given to intrusive rock in which quartz and feldspar are the dominant minerals. Aplites are usually very fine-grained, white, grey or pinkish, and their constituents are visible only with the help of a magnifying lens...

s are often associated with the margins of granitic intrusions. In some locations, very coarse-grained pegmatite
Pegmatite
A pegmatite is a very crystalline, intrusive igneous rock composed of interlocking crystals usually larger than 2.5 cm in size; such rocks are referred to as pegmatitic....

 masses occur with granite.

Granite has been intruded into the crust
Crust (geology)
In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle...

 of the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 during all geologic periods, although much of it is of Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 age. Granitic rock is widely distributed throughout the continental crust and is the most abundant basement rock
Basement Rock
Basement or Basement Rock music was a sub-genre coined in 2006 in an article by music magazine TGR. This was first in relation to the existence of underground record label Criminal Records but more for the independent bands they represent. The roots of the sub-genre are noted to be as far back as...

 that underlies the relatively thin sedimentary
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

 veneer of the continents.

Origin



Granite is an igneous rock and is formed from magma
Magma
Magma is a mixture of molten rock, volatiles and solids that is found beneath the surface of the Earth, and is expected to exist on other terrestrial planets. Besides molten rock, magma may also contain suspended crystals and dissolved gas and sometimes also gas bubbles. Magma often collects in...

. Granitic magma has many potential origins but it must intrude other rocks. Most granite intrusions are emplaced at depth within the crust, usually greater than 1.5 kilometres and up to 50 km depth within thick continental crust. The origin of granite is contentious and has led to varied schemes of classification. Classification schemes are regional and include French, British, and American systems.

Geochemical origins



Granitoids are a ubiquitous component of the crust. They have crystallized from magmas that have compositions at or near a eutectic point (or a temperature minimum on a cotectic curve). Magmas will evolve to the eutectic because of igneous differentiation
Igneous differentiation
In geology, igneous differentiation is an umbrella term for the various processes by which magmas undergo bulk chemical change during the partial melting process, cooling, emplacement or eruption.-Primary melts:...

, or because they represent low degrees of partial melting. Fractional crystallisation
Fractional crystallization (geology)
Fractional crystallization is one of the most important geochemical and physical processes operating within the Earth's crust and mantle. Fractional crystallization is the removal and segregation from a melt of mineral precipitates; except in special cases, removal of the crystals changes the...

 serves to reduce a melt in iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

, calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 and sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

, and enrich the melt in potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

 and silicon
Silicon
Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

 - alkali feldspar (rich in potassium) and quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

 (SiO2), are two of the defining constituents of granite.


This process operates regardless of the origin of the parental magma to the granite, and regardless of its chemistry. However, the composition and origin of the magma which differentiates into granite, leaves certain geochemical and mineral evidence as to what the granite's parental rock was. The final mineralogy, texture and chemical composition of a granite is often distinctive as to its origin. For instance, a granite which is formed from melted sediments may have more alkali feldspar, whereas a granite derived from melted basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 may be richer in plagioclase
Plagioclase
Plagioclase is an important series of tectosilicate minerals within the feldspar family. Rather than referring to a particular mineral with a specific chemical composition, plagioclase is a solid solution series, more properly known as the plagioclase feldspar series...

 feldspar. It is on this basis that the modern "alphabet" classification schemes are based.

Chappell & White classification system


The letter-based Chappell & White classification system was proposed initially to divide granites into I-type granite (or igneous protolith) granite and S-type or sedimentary protolith
Protolith
Protolith refers to the precursor lithology of a metamorphic rock.For example, the protolith of a slate is a shale or mudstone. Metamorphic rocks can be derived from any other rock and thus have a wide variety of protoliths. Identifying a protolith is a major aim of metamorphic geology.Sedimentary...

 granite. Both of these types of granite are formed by melting of high grade metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

s, either other granite or intrusive mafic rocks, or buried sediment, respectively.

M-type or mantle
Mantle (geology)
The mantle is a part of a terrestrial planet or other rocky body large enough to have differentiation by density. The interior of the Earth, similar to the other terrestrial planets, is chemically divided into layers. The mantle is a highly viscous layer between the crust and the outer core....

 derived granite was proposed later, to cover those granites which were clearly sourced from crystallized mafic
Mafic
Mafic is an adjective describing a silicate mineral or rock that is rich in magnesium and iron; the term is a portmanteau of the words "magnesium" and "ferric". Most mafic minerals are dark in color and the relative density is greater than 3. Common rock-forming mafic minerals include olivine,...

 magmas, generally sourced from the mantle. These are rare, because it is difficult to turn basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 into granite via fractional crystallisation
Fractional crystallization (geology)
Fractional crystallization is one of the most important geochemical and physical processes operating within the Earth's crust and mantle. Fractional crystallization is the removal and segregation from a melt of mineral precipitates; except in special cases, removal of the crystals changes the...

.

A-type or anorogenic granites are formed above volcanic "hot spot" activity and have peculiar mineralogy and geochemistry
Geochemistry
The field of geochemistry involves study of the chemical composition of the Earth and other planets, chemical processes and reactions that govern the composition of rocks, water, and soils, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earth's chemical components in time and space, and...

. These granites are formed by melting of the lower crust
Crust (geology)
In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle...

 under conditions that are usually extremely dry. The rhyolites of the Yellowstone caldera
Yellowstone Caldera
The Yellowstone Caldera is the volcanic caldera located in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. The caldera is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, in which the vast majority of the park is contained. The major features of...

 are examples of volcanic equivalents of A-type granite.

Granitization


An old, and largely discounted theory, granitization states that granite is formed in place by extreme metasomatism
Metasomatism
Metasomatism is the chemical alteration of a rock by hydrothermal and other fluids.Metasomatism can occur via the action of hydrothermal fluids from an igneous or metamorphic source. In the igneous environment, metasomatism creates skarns, greisen, and may affect hornfels in the contact...

 by fluids bringing in elements e.g. potassium and removing others e.g. calcium to transform the metamorphic rock into a granite. This was supposed to occur across a migrating front. The production of granite by metamorphic heat is difficult, but is observed to occur in certain amphibolite
Amphibolite
Amphibolite is the name given to a rock consisting mainly of hornblende amphibole, the use of the term being restricted, however, to metamorphic rocks. The modern terminology for a holocrystalline plutonic igneous rocks composed primarily of hornblende amphibole is a hornblendite, which are...

 and granulite
Granulite
Granulites are medium to coarse–grained metamorphic rocks that have experienced high temperature metamorphism, composed mainly of feldspars sometimes associated with quartz and anhydrous ferromagnesian minerals, with granoblastic texture and gneissose to massive structure...

 terrains. In-situ granitisation or melting by metamorphism is difficult to recognise except where leucosome and melanosome
Melanosome (geology)
A melanosome in geology refers to the dark, mafic mineral bands formed in migmatite which is undergoing eutaxitic melting; probably to form granite. These form bands with leucosomes and such a texture may be described as schlieren or migmatitic....

 textures are present in gneiss
Gneiss
Gneiss is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.-Etymology:...

es. Once a metamorphic rock is melted it is no longer a metamorphic rock and is a magma, so these rocks are seen as a transitional between the two, but are not technically granite as they do not actually intrude into other rocks. In all cases, melting of solid rock requires high temperature, and also water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 or other volatiles
Volatiles
In planetary science, volatiles are that group of chemical elements and chemical compounds with low boiling points that are associated with a planet's or moon's crust and/or atmosphere. Examples include nitrogen, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen, and methane, all compounds of C, H, O...

 which act as a catalyst by lowering the solidus
Solidus (chemistry)
In chemistry, materials science, and physics, the solidus is the locus of temperatures below which a given substance is completely solid...

 temperature of the rock.

Ascent and emplacement



The ascent and emplacement of large volumes of granite within the upper continental crust is a source of much debate amongst geologists. There is a lack of field evidence for any proposed mechanisms, so hypotheses are predominantly based upon experimental data.
There are two major hypotheses for the ascent of magma through the crust:
  • Stokes Diapir
  • Fracture Propagation

Of these two mechanisms, Stokes diapir
Diapir
A diapir is a type of intrusion in which a more mobile and ductily-deformable material is forced into brittle overlying rocks. Depending on the tectonic environment, diapirs can range from idealized mushroom-shaped Rayleigh-Taylor instability-type structures in regions with low tectonic stress...

 was favoured for many years in the absence of a reasonable alternative. The basic idea is that magma will rise through the crust as a single mass through buoyancy
Buoyancy
In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the...

. As it rises it heats the wall rocks
Country rock (geology)
Country rock is a geological term meaning the rock native to an area. It is similar and in many cases interchangeable with the terms basement and wall rocks....

, causing them to behave as a power-law fluid and thus flow around the pluton
Pluton
A pluton in geology is a body of intrusive igneous rock that crystallized from magma slowly cooling below the surface of the Earth. Plutons include batholiths, dikes, sills, laccoliths, lopoliths, and other igneous bodies...

 allowing it to pass rapidly and without major heat loss. This is entirely feasible in the warm, ductile
Ductility
In materials science, ductility is a solid material's ability to deform under tensile stress; this is often characterized by the material's ability to be stretched into a wire. Malleability, a similar property, is a material's ability to deform under compressive stress; this is often characterized...

 lower crust where rocks are easily deformed, but runs into problems in the upper crust which is far colder and more brittle. Rocks there do not deform so easily: for magma to rise as a pluton it would expend far too much energy in heating wall rocks, thus cooling and solidifying before reaching higher levels within the crust.

Nowadays fracture
Fracture
A fracture is the separation of an object or material into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress.The word fracture is often applied to bones of living creatures , or to crystals or crystalline materials, such as gemstones or metal...

 propagation is the mechanism preferred by many geologists as it largely eliminates the major problems of moving a huge mass of magma through cold brittle crust. Magma rises instead in small channels along self-propagating dykes
Dike (geology)
A dike or dyke in geology is a type of sheet intrusion referring to any geologic body that cuts discordantly across* planar wall rock structures, such as bedding or foliation...

 which form along new or pre-existing fault systems and networks of active shear zones (Clemens, 1998). As these narrow conduits open, the first magma to enter solidifies and provides a form of insulation for later magma.

Granitic magma must make room for itself or be intruded into other rocks in order to form an intrusion, and several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how large batholith
Batholith
A batholith is a large emplacement of igneous intrusive rock that forms from cooled magma deep in the Earth's crust...

s have been emplaced:
  • Stoping
    Stoping
    Stoping is a process accommodating the ascent of magmatic bodies from their sources in the mantle or lower crust to the surface. The theory was independently developed by Canadian geologist Reginald Aldworth Daly and American geologist Joseph Barrell....

    , where the granite cracks the wall rocks and pushes upwards as it removes blocks of the overlying crust
  • Assimilation, where the granite melts its way up into the crust and removes overlying material in this way
  • Inflation, where the granite body inflates under pressure and is injected into position


Most geologists today accept that a combination of these phenomena can be used to explain granite intrusions, and that not all granites can be explained entirely by one or another mechanism.

Natural radiation


Granite is a natural source of radiation
Particle radiation
Particle radiation is the radiation of energy by means of fast-moving subatomic particles. Particle radiation is referred to as a particle beam if the particles are all moving in the same direction, similar to a light beam....

, like most natural stones. However, some granites have been reported to have higher radioactivity thereby raising some concerns about their safety.

Some granites contain around 10 to 20 parts per million of uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

. By contrast, more mafic rocks such as tonalite, gabbro
Gabbro
Gabbro refers to a large group of dark, coarse-grained, intrusive mafic igneous rocks chemically equivalent to basalt. The rocks are plutonic, formed when molten magma is trapped beneath the Earth's surface and cools into a crystalline mass....

 or diorite
Diorite
Diorite is a grey to dark grey intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar , biotite, hornblende, and/or pyroxene. It may contain small amounts of quartz, microcline and olivine. Zircon, apatite, sphene, magnetite, ilmenite and sulfides occur as accessory...

 have 1 to 5 ppm
Parts-per notation
In science and engineering, the parts-per notation is a set of pseudo units to describe small values of miscellaneous dimensionless quantities, e.g. mole fraction or mass fraction. Since these fractions are quantity-per-quantity measures, they are pure numbers with no associated units of measurement...

 uranium, and limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

s and sedimentary rocks usually have equally low amounts. Many large granite plutons are the sources for palaeochannel
Palaeochannel
Palaeochannels or paleochannels are deposits of unconsolidated sediments or semi-consolidated sedimentary rocks deposited in ancient, currently inactive river and stream channel systems. The word palaeochannel is formed from the words "palaeo" or 'old', and channel; ie; a palaeochannel is an old...

-hosted or roll front uranium ore deposits, where the uranium washes into the sediment
Sediment
Sediment is naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself....

s from the granite uplands and associated, often highly radioactive, pegmatites. Granite could be considered a potential natural radiological hazard as, for instance, villages located over granite may be susceptible to higher doses of radiation than other communities. Cellars and basements sunk into soils over granite can become a trap for radon
Radon
Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as the decay product of uranium or thorium. Its most stable isotope, 222Rn, has a half-life of 3.8 days...

 gas, which is formed by the decay of uranium. Radon can also be introduced into houses by wells drilled into granite. Radon gas poses significant health concerns, and is the number two cause of lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

 in the US behind smoking.

There is some concern that materials sold as granite countertops or as building material may be hazardous to health. Dan Steck of St. Johns University, has stated
that approximately 5% of all granites will be of concern, with the caveat that only a tiny percentage of the tens of thousands of granite slabs have been tested. Various resources from national geological survey organizations are accessible online to assist in assessing the risk factors in granite country and design rules relating, in particular, to preventing accumulation of radon gas in enclosed basements and dwellings.

A study of granite countertops was done (initiated and paid for by the Marble Institute of America) in November 2008 by National Health and Engineering Inc of USA, and found that all of the 39 full size granite slabs that were measured for the study showed radiation levels well below the European Union safety standards (section 4.1.1.1 of the National Health and Engineering study) and radon emission levels well below the average outdoor radon concentrations in the US.

Antiquity



The Red Pyramid
Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid, also called the North Pyramid, is the largest of the three major pyramids located at the Dahshur necropolis. Named for the rusty reddish hue of its stones, it is also the third largest Egyptian pyramid, after those of Khufu and Khafra at Giza. At the time of its completion, it was...

 of Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 (c.26th century BC), named for the light crimson hue of its exposed granite surfaces, is the third largest of Egyptian pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt.There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found...

. Menkaure's Pyramid
Menkaure's Pyramid
The Pyramid of Menkaure, also located on the Giza Plateau in the southwestern outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, is the smalest of the three Pyramids of Giza...

, likely dating to the same era, was constructed of limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 and granite blocks. The Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact...

 (c.2580 BC
26th century BC
The 26th century BC is a century which lasted from the year 2600 BC to 2501 BC .-Events:*c. 2900 BC – 2334 BC: Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period continue....

) contains a huge granite sarcophagus
Sarcophagus
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

 fashioned of "Red Aswan
Aswan
Aswan , formerly spelled Assuan, is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate.It stands on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract and is a busy market and tourist centre...

 Granite." The mostly ruined Black Pyramid
Black Pyramid
King Amenemhat III built the Black pyramid during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt . It is one of the five remaining pyramids of the original eleven pyramids at Dahshur in Egypt. Originally named Amenemhet is Mighty, the pyramid earned the name the Black pyramid for its dark, decaying appearance as a...

 dating from the reign of Amenemhat III
Amenemhat III
Amenemhat III, also spelled Amenemhet III was a pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from c.1860 BC to c.1814 BC, the latest known date being found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46, I Akhet 22 of his rule. He is regarded as the greatest monarch of the Middle Kingdom...

 once had a polished granite pyramidion
Pyramidion
A pyramidion is the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid in archaeological parlance. They were called benbenet in the Ancient Egyptian language, which associated the pyramid as a whole with the sacred benben stone...

 or capstone, now on display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms....

 in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 (see Dahshur
Dahshur
Dahshur , is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo...

). Other uses in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 include column
Column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s, door lintels, sills
Sill plate
A sill plate or sole plate in construction and architecture is the bottom horizontal member of a wall or building to which vertical members are attached. Sill plates are usually composed of lumber. It usually comes in sizes of 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, and 2×10. In the platform framing method the sill plate...

, jambs, and wall and floor veneer. How the Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 worked the solid granite is still a matter of debate. Dr. Patrick Hunt
Patrick Hunt
Patrick Hunt is an American archeologist and author.-Research:Dr. Patrick Hunt has directed the Stanford University Alpine Archaeology Project since 1994...

 has postulated that the Egyptians used emery
Emery (mineral)
Emery is a very hard rock type used to make abrasive powder. It largely consists of the mineral corundum , mixed with other species such as the iron-bearing spinels hercynite and magnetite, and also rutile...

 shown to have higher hardness
Hardenability
The hardenability of a metal alloy is its capability to be hardened by heat treatment. It should not be confused with hardness, which is a measure of a sample's resistance to indentation or scratching. It is an important property for welding, since it is inversely proportional to weldability,...

 on the Mohs scale
Mohs scale of mineral hardness
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in...

.

Many large Hindu temples in southern India, particularly those built by the 11th century king Rajaraja Chola I
Rajaraja Chola I
Raja Raja Chola I born Arunmozhi Thevar , popularly known as Raja Raja the Great, is one of the greatest emperors of the Tamil Chola Empire of India who ruled between 985 and 1014 CE...

, were made of granite. There is a large amount of granite in these structures. They are comparable to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Building





Granite has been extensively used as a dimension stone
Dimension stone
Dimension stone is natural stone or rock that has been selected and fabricated to specific sizes or shapes. Color, texture and pattern, and surface finish of the stone are also normal requirements...

 and as flooring tiles in public and commercial buildings and monuments. Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 in Scotland, which is constructed principally from local granite, is known as "The Granite City". Because of its abundance, granite was commonly used to build foundations for homes in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

. The Granite Railway
Granite Railway
-References:** privately printed for The Granite Railway Company, 1926.* Scholes, Robert E. , .******Dutton, E.P. Published 1867. A good map of roads and rail lines around Quincy and Milton including the Granite Railroad.* * *...

, America's first railroad, was built to haul granite from the quarries in Quincy, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
Quincy is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Its nicknames are "City of Presidents", "City of Legends", and "Birthplace of the American Dream". As a major part of Metropolitan Boston, Quincy is a member of Boston's Inner Core Committee for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council...

, to the Neponset River
Neponset River
The Neponset River is a river in eastern Massachusetts in the United States. The headwaters of the Neponset are at the Neponset Reservoir in Foxborough, near the Gillette Stadium...

 in the 1820s. With increasing amounts of acid rain
Acid rain
Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions . It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen...

 in parts of the world, granite has begun to supplant marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 as a monument material, since it is much more durable. Polished granite is also a popular choice for kitchen
Kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...

 countertop
Countertop
Countertop usually refers to a horizontal worksurface in kitchens or other food preparation areas, bathrooms or lavatories, and workrooms in general. It is frequently installed upon and supported by cabinets...

s due to its high durability and aesthetic qualities. In building and for countertops, the term "granite" is often applied to all igneous rocks with large crystals, and not specifically to those with a granitic composition.

Engineering


Engineers have traditionally used polished granite surfaces to establish a plane
Plane (mathematics)
In mathematics, a plane is a flat, two-dimensional surface. A plane is the two dimensional analogue of a point , a line and a space...

 of reference, since they are relatively impervious and inflexible. Sandblasted concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 with a heavy aggregate
Aggregate (composite)
Aggregate is the component of a composite material that resists compressive stress and provides bulk to the composite material. For efficient filling, aggregate should be much smaller than the finished item, but have a wide variety of sizes...

 content has an appearance similar to rough granite, and is often used as a substitute when use of real granite is impractical. A most unusual use of granite was in the construction of the rails for the Haytor Granite Tramway
Haytor Granite Tramway
The Haytor Granite Tramway was a unique granite-railed tramway running down from Haytor Down, Dartmoor, Devon. The tramway was built in 1820 to carry Haytor granite, which was of fine grain and high quality, down from the heights of Dartmoor for the construction of houses, bridges and other...

, Devon, England, in 1820. Granite block is usually processed into slabs and after can be cut and shaped by a cutting center.

Other uses


In some areas granite is used for gravestones and memorials. Granite is a hard stone and requires skill to carve by hand. Modern methods of carving include using computer-controlled rotary bits and sandblasting over a rubber stencil. Leaving the letters, numbers and emblems exposed on the stone, the blaster can create virtually any kind of artwork or epitaph.

Curling
Curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a...

 stones are traditionally fashioned of Ailsa Craig granite. The first stones were made in the 1750s, the original source being Ailsa Craig
Ailsa Craig
Ailsa Craig is an island of 219.69 acres in the outer Firth of Clyde, Scotland where blue hone granite was quarried to make curling stones. "Ailsa" is pronounced "ale-sa", with the first syllable stressed...

 in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Because of the particular rarity of the granite, the best stones can cost as much as US$1,500. Between 60–70 percent of the stones used today are made from Ailsa Craig granite, although the island is now a wildlife reserve and is no longer used for quarrying.

Rock climbing



Granite is one of the rocks most prized by climbers, for its steepness, soundness, crack systems, and friction. Well-known venues for granite climbing include Yosemite
Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of California, carved out by the Merced River. The valley is about long and up to a mile deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, and densely forested with pines...

, the Bugaboos
The Bugaboos
The Bugaboos are a mountain range in the Purcell Mountains of eastern British Columbia, Canada. The granite spires of the group are a popular mountaineering destination. The Bugaboos are protected within Bugaboo Provincial Park.-Geography:...

, the Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco , meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence...

 massif (and peaks such as the Aiguille du Dru
Aiguille du Dru
The Aiguille du Dru is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps, lying to the east of the village of Les Praz in the Chamonix valley.The mountain has two summits:...

, the Mountains of Mourne
Mountains of Mourne
The Mourne Mountains are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. It includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at...

, the Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi
The Aiguille du Midi is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps.The cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was built in 1955 and held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent...

 and the Grandes Jorasses
Grandes Jorasses
The Grandes Jorasses is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif.The first ascent of the highest peak of the mountain was by Horace Walker with guides Melchior Anderegg, Johann Jaun and Julien Grange on 30 June 1868...

), the Bregaglia
Bregaglia Range
The Bregaglia Range is a small group of mostly granite mountains in Graubünden, Switzerland and the Province of Sondrio, northern Italy. It derives its name from the partly Swiss, partly Italian valley, the Val Bregaglia, and is known as Bergell in German...

, Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

, parts of the Karakoram
Karakoram
The Karakoram, or Karakorum , is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan , Ladakh , and Xinjiang region,...

 (especially the Trango Towers
Trango Towers
The Trango Towers are a group of dramatic granite spires located on the north side of the Baltoro Glacier, in Baltistan, a district of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan . They are part of the Baltoro Muztagh, a subrange of the Karakoram range. The Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and...

), the Fitzroy Massif, Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

, Baffin Island
Baffin Island
Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is and its population is about 11,000...

, Ogawayama
Ogawayama
is a 2,418m tall mountain on the border of Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures in Japan. It is a famous rock climbing area.The rock in Ogawayama consists of granite....

, the Cornish coast
Geography of Cornwall
The geography of Cornwall describes the extreme southwestern peninsula of Great Britain west of the River Tamar. The population of Cornwall is greater in the less extensive west of the county than the east due to Bodmin Moor's location; however the larger part of the population live in rural areas...

 and the Cairngorms
Cairngorms
The Cairngorms are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland closely associated with the mountain of the same name - Cairn Gorm.-Name:...

.

Granite rock climbing
Rock climbing
Rock climbing also lightly called 'The Gravity Game', is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling...

 is so popular that many of the artificial rock climbing wall
Climbing wall
A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, but sometimes located outdoors as well. Some are brick or wooden constructions, but on most modern walls, the material most often used is a thick multiplex board with holes drilled...

s found in gyms and theme parks are made to look and feel like granite.


See also

  • Epoxy granite
    Epoxy granite
    Epoxy granite, also known as synthetic granite, is a mixture of epoxy and granite commonly used as an alternative material for machine tool bases...

  • Falkenfelsen, or Falcon Rock
    Falkenfelsen
    The Falkenfelsen ' is a granite rock formation in the northern Black Forest of Germany's Baden-Württemberg state. One side of the formation is a cliff about high. From the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse , two hiking trails lead through the formation and end at the shelter Herta-hut...

  • Fall River granite
    Fall River granite
    Fall River Granite is a Precambrian bedrock underlying the City of Fall River, Massachusetts and surrounding areas along the eastern shores of Narragansett Bay. It was formed 600 million years ago, as part of the Avalon terrane....

  • Greisen
    Greisen
    Greisen is a highly altered granitic rock or pegmatite. Greisen is formed by autogenic alteration of a granite and is a class of endoskarn.Greisens appear as highly altered rocks, partly coarse, crystalline granite, partly vuggy with miarolitic cavities, disseminated halide minerals such as...

  • Hypersolvus
    Hypersolvus
    In hypersolvus granites, as used by Tuttle and Bowen in 1958, crystallization at relatively low water pressures results in the formation of a single feldspar as opposed to subsolvus granites in which two distinct types of feldspar are present....

  • Igneous rocks
  • List of rock types
  • Luxullianite
    Luxullianite
    Luxullianite is a rare type of granite, notable for the presence of clusters of radially arranged acicular tourmaline crystals enclosed by phenocrysts of orthoclase and quartz in a matrix of quartz, tourmaline, alkali feldspar, brown mica, and cassiterite.The name originates from the village of...

  • Mourne Mountains
  • Orbicular granite
    Orbicular Granite
    Orbicular granite is an uncommon plutonic rock type which is usually granitic in composition. These rocks have a unique appearance due to orbicules - concentrically layered, spheroidal structures, probably formed through nucleation around a grain in a cooling magma chamber...

  • Pikes Peak granite
    Pikes Peak granite
    The Pikes Peak granite is a widespread geologic formation found in the central part of the Front Range of Colorado. The granite gets its name from the mountain Pikes Peak, which is made up almost entirely of the distinctive, brick-red rock...

    , Colorado
  • Quartz monzonite
    Quartz monzonite
    Quartz monzonite is an intrusive igneous rock that has an approximately equal proportion of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars. The plagioclase is typically intermediate to sodic in composition, andesine to oligoclase. Quartz is present in significant amounts. Biotite and/or hornblende...

  • Rapakivi granite
    Rapakivi granite
    Rapakivi granite is a hornblende-biotite granite containing large rounded crystals of orthoclase mantled with oligoclase. The name has come to be used most frequently as a textural term where it implies plagioclase rims around orthoclase in plutonic rocks...

  • Stone Mountain
    Stone Mountain
    Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

    , Georgia
  • Subsolvus
    Subsolvus
    In subsolvus or two feldspar granites crystallisation occurs at high water pressures resulting in the formation of two types of feldspar as opposed to hypersolvus granites in which crystallization at relatively low water pressures results in the formation of a single feldspar variety.Quoting Tuttle...

  • Wicklow Mountains
    Wicklow Mountains
    The Wicklow Mountains form the largest continuous upland area in Ireland. They occupy the whole centre of County Wicklow and stretch outside its borders into Counties Carlow, Wexford and Dublin. Where the mountains extend into County Dublin, they are known locally as the Dublin Mountains...

    , Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

  • Cold Spring Granite
    Cold Spring Granite
    Cold Spring Granite is a quarrier of granite and natural stone and a bronze manufacturing company in the United States. In 1898 with a single quarry, stonecutter, Henry Nair Alexander, started the family business which became known as Cold Spring Granite...


External links