Basalt is mafic.
Basalt is a dark igneous rock rich in elements such as magnesium, calcium, silicon, iron, and aluminum.
Basalt is mafic because it is a black igneous rock with higher content of silicon, magnesium and iron.
The article will help the reader in understanding and differentiating mafic rocks from felsic minerals.
Is Basalt Felsic or Mafic? (Explained)
Basalt rocks are formed by volcanic magma which solidifies when exposed to the air.
It forms as an extrusive rock; however, it can also form as intrusive bodies.
Most of the rocks that underlie the earth’s surface are Basalt.
The rock also occupies the majority of the ocean basins.
Basalt is also found in the moon.
Physical characteristics of Basalt
Basalt is a black rock as it contains magnesium oxide and calcium oxide in large amounts.
Generally, the rock has either cryptocrystalline, or fine grain structure, and porphyritic texture.
Basalt appears glassy and has a fine grain structure.
The viscosity of Basalt is lower, and this ensures that the lava flows rapidly. The lava covers a large area before it cools and solidifies.
Chemical composition and formula of Basalt
The chemical composition of Basalt includes magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, silicon, iron oxide, and aluminum oxide.
The molecular formula of Basalt is CaMgO6Si2.
The rock is classified into two groups based on chemicals and petrography.
The first group is the tholeiitic basalt which is rich in iron and silica.
The second group is the alkali basalts which is composed of olivine and mostly found in the ocean basins.
Uses of Basalt
Basalt is used for various purposes.
It is mainly crushed and utilized as an aggregate in construction works.
Crushed basalt is utilized for road base, railroad ballast, and concrete aggregate.
Additionally, the rock can be polished to form floor tiles, and monuments.
Apart from being used in building materials, basalt is applied as thermal insulators in most industries.
Basalt is used to eliminate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The rock has been utilized to minimize the risk of climate change through the use of advanced technology.
Basalt is also used to decorate the interior of houses including wall panels and fireplaces.
Mafic vs Felsic (Explained)
When a substance is felsic, it means that it is a black igneous rock.
Generally, felsic rocks are light in color and characterized with specific gravities lower than 3.0.
When a rock is felsic, it means that it is composed of less silica.
Felsic minerals are made up of a relative amount of aluminum and silicon.
On the other hand, mafic minerals are dark-colored with specific gravities of more than 3.0. Mafic minerals have high content of silica.
Generally, the content of mafic minerals includes silicate, magnesium and iron.
Various circumstances have to exist for a substance to be felsic.
Firstly, the rock should be composed of lighter elements like silicon, oxygen, aluminum, sodium and potassium.
Secondly, the rock should be light in color, and finally, it should have a higher viscosity.
One of the circumstances that have to exist for a substance to be mafic is a dark color.
Generally, mafic rocks are black due to high contents of magnesium and iron.
Additionally, for a rock to be classified as a mafic rock, it should be composed of higher elements such as magnesium, calcium, silicon, iron, and aluminum.
It is important to identify a substance as either mafic or felsic because there are various differences between these rocks.
Mafic and felsic contain different levels of the silica content.
Also, the viscosity of the rocks are different as different lavas are cooled to form these minerals.
The origin and contents of these rocks are also different.
Finally, the characteristic appearance of mafic and felsic rocks is different, and therefore, there is a need to consider all the differences to classify a rock correctly.
In geology, mafic is an adjective that describes black igneous rock with higher amounts of silicon, magnesium and iron.
Basalt is mafic because it is black and is composed of higher elements of magnesium, and iron.
Generally, mafic rocks have a lower viscosity, and Basalt is a good example of a mafic rock because it has this characteristic.
It is important to understand the characteristics of mafic and felsic rocks.
The two rocks have different levels of the silica content.
The origin and the characteristic appearance of mafic and felsic rocks are also different.
Therefore, understanding the characteristics of Basalt would be helpful in classifying the rock as either felsic or mafic.
This question should be answered correctly as felsic and mafic have different appearance, viscosity, origin, and elements.
Basalt is a dark-colored, igneous rock composed of higher elements such as magnesium, calcium, silicon, iron, and aluminum.
Basalt is mafic rock as mafic is used in geology to describe dark-colored igneous rocks with higher content elements such as magnesium and iron.
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