5 Reasons Why Granite Rocks!

what kind of rock is granite

Granite has been used in buildings for thousands of years, and it’s still popular today in everything from grand looking office buildings to stylish kitchens. What is granite, and why do we love it so much?

Granite Is Made From Magma

Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, which means that it is formed through the cooling of molten rock. It forms deep underground, and is made up of quartz, feldspar, micas, amphiboles, and a mixture of additional trace minerals. The fact that it is made up of so many minerals is what gives each piece of granite it’s unique patterned appearance. Generally, the slower the rock cooled as it was forming, the larger the mineral crystals that form within it.

It’s The Oldest Rock In The World

As you might expect, granite is old! It is the oldest igneous rock in the world, believed to have been formed 300 million years ago. There is even some granite in Australia which is over 4 billion years old, although when rocks are that old they have been so altered by geological forces that it is hard to classify them.

It’s Tough!

Granite is incredibly tough, which is why it is so popular as a building material. It’s so durable that it was even used to create the base of the statue of liberty in 1875. That means it’s withstood being out in the open air for over 140 years!

Granite is especially popular as a choice for kitchen countertops because it’s so hard. It can easily withstand scratching from a knife, and in fact the only substance that is harder than granite is diamond. You can view a range of granite countertops through a specialist like World Stone Group who have cultivated their selection from all over the world so that you can choose the perfect stone for your home.

Granite is also perfect for kitchens because of its resistance to heat. The melting point of dry granite is 1,215–1,260°C (2,219–2,300°F), which you’d probably struggle to get to just by setting a hot pan on it!

The Ancient Egyptians Used It

Granite is not only popular in modern buildings, it was used as long ago as in the time of the Ancient Egyptians. They would quarry the stone from near the Egyptian city of Aswan, from quarries that are actually still in use today. The Great Pyramid of Giza contains a huge granite sarcophagus which was formed of Red Aswan Granite.

The granite was so hard that the Egyptians had to use clever methods to get it out of the ground. They would cut a series of holes in the stone using chisels, and then insert wooden wedges. These would then be soaked with water, which would cause the rock to split and meant it could be removed more easily from the ground.

Granite was also used extensively by the Romans, including in buildings like the Colosseum, which still survive today.

Granite Is A Latin Word

The word ‘granite’ comes from the Latin word ‘granum’ which means ‘coarse grain.’ It got its name from the grain-like patterns that were formed in the rock by the crystals and minerals.

FAQ

What is granite made of?

Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, which means that it is formed through the cooling of molten rock. It forms deep underground, and is made up of quartz, feldspar, micas, amphiboles, and a mixture of additional trace minerals. The fact that it is made up of so many minerals is what gives each piece of granite it’s unique patterned appearance. Generally, the slower the rock cooled as it was forming, the larger the mineral crystals that form within it.

How old is granite rock?

As you might expect, granite is old! It is the oldest igneous rock in the world, believed to have been formed 300 million years ago. There is even some granite in Australia which is over 4 billion years old, although when rocks are that old they have been so altered by geological forces that it is hard to classify them.

Additional Resources:

Microstructures In Granitic Rocks

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