Definition - What does Rhyolite mean?

Rhyolite is a volcanic and igneous rock made up of felsic composition. The texture of the rock may vary from glassy to porphyritic. It is viscous in nature due to high silica content. When heated, it flows slowly and tends to pile up and form lava domes. Sometimes, the rhyolite magma is rich in gas thus it can erupt explosively. The color of the substance may change but stay light colored. It consists of quartz, plagioclase and lesser amounts of biotite, pyroxene, and orthoclase.

Petropedia explains Rhyolite

Rhyolite is considered equivalent to the plutonic granite rock. Due to the presence of Silica, Iron, and Magnesium, the melts of rhyolite are highly viscous and highly polymerized in nature. However, some of the substances cool quickly into crystals from natural gas. The following are some of its uses:

  • It is used in cement to strengthen the material which is used in constructing skyscrapers.
  • It is used as a cutting tool by the Maori
  • It is used as a healing stone
  • It is used in jewelry as a decorative stone

The rock is mainly found in Northland, Great Barrier Island, and Coromandel Peninsula.

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