Granite is the signature rock of planet earth. When volcanic action melted rock into molten magma, granite was formed. It took millions of years for the molten magma to cool and solidify resulting in an igneous rock. Granite is an igneous rock.
So, what separates granite from other types of rock?
Granite is made of mineral grains that are forced together under pressure to form solid. It mainly consists of quartz and feldspars. It may also contain other minerals known as “accessory” minerals. The feldspar and quartz usually give granite a light colour, ranging from pinkish to white. The classic granite “salt and pepper” texture is created when the darker accessory minerals punctuate the light background. Black amphibole hornblende, biotite and black mica are the most common accessory minerals.
The deeper the granite formation takes place below the earth’s surface, the slower it cools. Due to slow cooling larger crystals and usually a lighter colour granite rock is formed. Smaller crystals and dark coloured granite is formed when the magma cools nearer to the earth surface.
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