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A general term for a group of fine-grain, often glassy, volcanic rocks. Rhyolites contain Quartz and Feldspar and are compositionally similar to Granite. They occur in Lava and often exhibit flow lines, spheroids, and nodular structures. Obsidian is a type of rhyolite. Pumice is a very porous, brittle, lightweight variety of rhyolite.


Synonyms and Related Terms

Rhyolith (Deut.); rhyolite (Fr.); ryolit (Pol., Sven.); riolit (Pol.);

Physical and Chemical Properties

Mohs Hardness 6-6.5

Resources and Citations

  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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