Friday, 30 December 2011

Where is Granite Found in Nature?

Granite is a common igneous rock. It is formed as a by product of the cooling of the molten rock underneath the Earth's surface, and so can be found in nature anywhere where the deep crust has been brought up to the surface. Granite countertops can also be found where there has been a significant amount of erosion, causing the deeper layers of the Earth's crust to be exposed.

It is also believed that granite is produced from sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in a process called granitisation which involves heating and ionisation. Granite can be found underneath any large land mass, and is the core rock in all mountain ranges. Granite contains a large proportion of oxygen and silicon, the two most common elements on the earth's surface, making granite the most common rock on any continent.

There are many different rocky outcrops in Australia, which form a unique habitat for a variety of native animals such as rock wallabies and some species of reptile which have adapted to the environment so well that they can only be found on granite outcrops. Rainwater pools on granite outcrops also provide a source of life for small aquatic invertebrates, as well as fresh drinking water for other inhabitants.

The stone that we use for construction and decorative purposes are actually part of a larger rock class called Granitoid. True granite is identified by a quartzite content between twenty and sixty per cent and a feldspar content in which alkali feldspar content dominates. The granite used for construction has large mineral grains which are harder than steel and have been formed through the very slow cooling process.


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