Texture (geology)

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Texture (or rock microstructure[1]) in geology refers to the relationship between the materials of which a rock is composed.[2] The broadest textural classes are crystalline (in which the components are intergrown and interlocking crystals), fragmental (in which there is an accumulation of fragments by some physical process), aphanitic (in which crystals are not visible to the unaided eye), and glassy (in which the particles are too small to be seen and amorphously arranged).[2] The geometric aspects and relations amongst the component particles or crystals which is called the crystallographic texture or preferred orientation. Textures can be quantified in many ways.[3] The most common[citation needed] parameter is the crystal size distribution. This creates the physical appearance or character of a rock, such as grain size, shape, arrangement, and other properties, at both the visible and microscopic scale.

Crystalline textures include phaneritic, foliated, and porphyritic.[2] Phaneritic textures are where interlocking crystals of igneous rock are visible to the unaided eye. Folitated texture is where metamorphic rock is made of layers of materials.[2] Porhyritic texture is one in which larger pieces (phenocrysts) are embedded in a background mass made of much finer grains.[2]

Fragmental textures include clastic, bioclastic, and pyroclastic.[2]

A preferred mineral orientation, is the texture of metamorphic rock in which its grains have a flattened shape (inequant), and their planes tend to be oriented in the same direction.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vernon, R.H. (2004) A practical guide to rock microstructure, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-81443-X
  2. ^ a b c d e f Texture & Genesis of Rocks, Introductory Geology Laboratory, Christopher DiLeonardo, Ph.D., Marek Cichanski, Ph.D., Earth & Space Sciences, De Anza College
  3. ^ Higgins, M.D. (2006) Quantitative Textural Measurements in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 0-521-13515-X
  4. ^ Essentials of Geology, 3rd Ed, Stephen Marshak