Alkali basalt

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Alkali basalt or alkali olivine basalt is a fine-grained, dark-coloured, volcanic rock characterized by phenocrysts of olivine, titanium-rich augite, plagioclase feldspar and iron oxides. For similar SiO2 concentrations, alkali basalts have a higher content of the alkalis, Na2O and K2O, than other basalt types such as tholeiites. They are also characterized by the development of modal nepheline in their groundmass (visible at highest magnification on a petrographic microscope) and normative nepheline in their CIPW norms. Alkali basalts are typically found on updomed and rifted continental crust, and on oceanic islands such as Hawaii, Madeira and Ascension Island.

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