is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic stone which was originally pure quartz sandstone.[i]
Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure level unremarkably related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is unremarkably white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pinkish and red due to varying amounts of hematite. Other colors, such as yellow, green, blueish and orange, are due to other minerals.
is as well sometimes used for very hard only unmetamorphosed sandstones that are composed of quartz grains thoroughly cemented with additional quartz. Such sedimentary rock has come up to be described as
to distinguish it from metamorphic quartzite, which is sometimes called
to emphasize its metamorphic origins.
Quartzite is very resistant to chemic weathering and often forms ridges and resistant hilltops. The nearly pure silica content of the rock provides little material for soil; therefore, the quartzite ridges are often blank or covered only with a very thin layer of soil and little (if whatsoever) vegetation. Some quartzites contain just enough atmospheric condition-susceptible food-bearing minerals such every bit carbonates and chlorite to class a loamy, fairly fertile though shallow and stony soil.
Quartzite has been used since prehistoric times for stone tools. Information technology is presently used for decorative dimension stone, as crushed stone in highway construction, and every bit a source of silica for production of silicon and silicon compounds.
Characteristics and origin
Quartzite is a very hard rock composed predominantly of an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. The grainy, sandpaper-similar surface is glassy in appearance. Minor amounts of old cementing materials, atomic number 26 oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, ofttimes migrate during recrystallization, causing streaks and lenses to grade within the quartzite.
To be classified every bit a quartzite past the British Geological Survey, a metamorphic rock must contain at least 80% quartz by volume.
Quartzite is commonly regarded every bit metamorphic in origin.
When sandstone is subjected to the swell rut and pressure associated with regional metamorphism, the private quartz grains recrystallize along with the one-time cementing material. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism.
The recrystallized quartz grains are roughly equal in size, forming what is chosen a granoblastic texture, and they also show signs of metamorphic annealing, in which the grains go coarser and acquire a more polygonal texture.
The grains are so tightly interlocked that when the stone is broken, it fractures through the grains to course an irregular or conchoidal fracture.
Geologists had recognized past 1941 that some rocks bear witness the macroscopic characteristics of quartzite, even though they have not undergone metamorphism at high pressure level and temperature. These rocks have been subject only to the much lower temperatures and pressures associated with diagenesis of sedimentary rock, only diagenesis has cemented the rock then thoroughly that microscopic examination is necessary to distinguish it from metamorphic quartize. The term
is used to distinguish such sedimentary stone from
produced by metamorphism. By extension, the term
has occasionally been more than generally applied to any quartz-cemented quartz arenite. Orthoquartzite (in the narrow sense) is frequently 99% SiO2
with only very small amounts of iron oxide and trace resistant minerals such as zircon, rutile and magnetite. Although few fossils are normally nowadays, the original texture and sedimentary structures are preserved.
The typical stardom between a truthful orthoquartzite and an ordinary quartz sandstone is that an orthoquartzite is then highly cemented that information technology will fracture across grains, not around them.[three]
This is a distinction that tin can be recognized in the field. In plow, the distinction between an orthoquartzite and a metaquartzite is the onset of recrystallization of existing grains. The dividing line may be placed at the point where strained quartz grains brainstorm to be replaced by new, unstrained, small quartz grains, producing a
that can be identified in thin sections under a polarizing microscope. With increasing grade of metamorphism, farther recrystallization produces
foam texture, characterized by polygonal grains meeting at triple junctions, and so
porphyroblastic texture, characterized by fibroid, irregular grains, including some larger grains (porphyroblasts.)
In the United States, formations of quartzite can be constitute in some parts of Pennsylvania, the Washington DC area, eastern South Dakota, Central Texas,
Devil’southward Lake State Park in the Baraboo Range in Wisconsin,[xi]
the Wasatch Range in Utah,
nigh Salt Lake City, Utah and as resistant ridges in the Appalachians[xiii]
and other mount regions. Quartzite is also establish in the Morenci Copper Mine in Arizona.
The town of Quartzsite in western Arizona derives its proper name from the quartzites in the nearby mountains in both Arizona and Southeastern California. A glassy
has been described from the Belt Supergroup in the Coeur d’Alene district of northern Idaho.
In Canada, the La Cloche Mountains in Ontario are composed primarily of white quartzite. Vast areas of Nova Scotia are underlain by quartzite.
Paleoproterozoic quartzite-rhyolite successions are common in the Precambrian basement rock of western N America. The quartzites in these successions are interpreted equally sedimentary beds deposited atop older greenstone belts. The quartzite-rhyolite successions may record the formation of back-arc basins along the margin of Laurentia, the ancient cadre of North America, between episodes of mount edifice during the associates of the continent. The quartzites are often nearly pure quartz, which is puzzling for sediments which must have eroded from igneous rock. Their purity may reflect unusual conditions of chemical weathering, at a fourth dimension when the Earth’south atmosphere was beginning to be oxygenated.
In Republic of ireland areas of quartzite are found across the westward and northwest, with Errigal in Donegal every bit the most prominent outcrop. A skilful example of a quartzite area is on An Corràn peninsula, in Co. Mayo, which has a very thin layer of Irish Atlantic Bog roofing it.
In the U.k., a craggy ridge of quartzite called the Stiperstones (early on Ordovician – Arenig Epoch, 500 Ma) runs parallel with the Pontesford-Linley fault, half dozen km northward-west of the Long Mynd in south Shropshire. Too to be constitute in England are the Cambrian “Wrekin quartzite” (in Shropshire), and the Cambrian “Hartshill quartzite” (Nuneaton area).
In Wales, Holyhead Mountain and well-nigh of Holy island off Anglesey sport excellent Precambrian quartzite crags and cliffs. In the Scottish Highlands, several mountains (due east.m. Foinaven, Arkle) composed of Cambrian quartzite tin can be found in the far north-due west Moine Thrust Belt running in a narrow band from Loch Eriboll in a due south-westerly direction to Skye.
In continental Europe, diverse regionally isolated quartzite deposits be at surface level in a belt from the Rhenish Massif and the German Central Highlands into the Western Czechia, for case in the Taunus and Harz mountains. In Poland quartzite deposits at surface level exists in Świętokrzyskie Mountains. In Norway, deposits are quarried near Austertana,[xix]
which is one of the largest quarries in the world at 850,000 metric tonnes) annually, and Mårnes near Sandhornøy with an output of 150,000 metric tonnes annually.
Deposits are likewise quarried at Kragerø, and several other deposits are known but not actively quarried.
The highest mountain in Mozambique, Monte Binga (2436 m), too as the residue of the surrounding Chimanimani Plateau are equanimous of very difficult, pale grey, Precambrian quartzite. Quartzite is also mined in Brazil for utilise in kitchen countertops.
Quartzite is a decorative stone and may be used to cover walls, every bit roofing tiles, as flooring, and stairsteps. Its use for countertops in kitchens is expanding rapidly. Information technology is harder and more resistant to stains than granite. Crushed quartzite is sometimes used in route structure.[two]
High purity quartzite is used to produce ferrosilicon, industrial silica sand, silicon and silicon carbide.
During the Paleolithic, quartzite was used, along with flint, quartz, and other lithic raw materials, for making stone tools.
As quartzite is a class of silica, it is a possible crusade for concern in various workplaces. Cutting, grinding, chipping, sanding, drilling, and polishing natural and manufactured stone products tin release hazardous levels of very small, crystalline silica dust particles into the air that workers breathe.
Crystalline silica of respirable size is a recognized man carcinogen and may lead to other diseases of the lungs such as silicosis and pulmonary fibrosis.
is derived from German:
Quartzite from Salangen, Southward Troms, Kingdom of norway, showing elongate crystals associated with high strain regimes
Sparse section of quartzite from Salangen, South Troms, Norway, showing elongate crystals associated with high strain regimes
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- R. V. Dietrich’s GemRocks: Quartzite
- CSU Pomona Geology: Quartzite
- Cowen’s “The First Geologists” (chapter on Rock Age/Homo habilis
use of quartzite)
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resource : Natural History: Minnesota’s geology
- Wisconsin’due south Baraboo Syncline (map and aerial photos of Baraboo quartzite quarries)
- South Dakota 2002 Mineral Summary: Production, Exploration and Ecology Issues (including 2002 quartzite production)
- Big Sioux River: History of Sioux Falls and Quartzite Photos
Which Describes a Characteristic of Quartzite