Rocks at Cliffe Castle Museum
Igneous Rocks: examples and uses
Here you will find information on common igneous rocks to aid you in your journey.
A hard igneous rock consisting of clearly visible crystals of various minerals.
Granite looks attractive when polished and is a very hard rock. It is often used for the facades (fronts) of buildings, expensive kitchen worktops and gravestones.
A dark-coloured, fine-grained rock. Basalt is thought to be one of the main rocks to form the oceanic crust.
When basaltic lava cools down it can form hexagonal columns such as seen in the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Basalt can be a rich source of iron and is commonly used as an aggregate in the building of roads.
Pumice is formed in volcanic eruptions when gas is violently released from the still molten rock creating a rock with thousands of tiny bubbles in it. Pumice’s most obvious trait is that it is very light, so light in fact that it can sometimes float on water.
Day to day pumice use revolves around the removal of dead skin from peoples’ feet. It is also used in abrasive cleaning products and as an ingredient in lightweight construction materials.