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Red Granite ("GRAN-it") 

Granite is one of the most common igneous rocks.  In our area, we find it along railroad tracks, in parking lots, in river gravels -- and in graveyards.  (Many headstones are made of red granite.)  

To learn more about red granite, scroll farther down this page.

 Red granite

  

bulletHow to recognize red granite
bulletOther rocks that look like red granite
bulletWhere red granite came from
bulletHow granite formed
bulletOther names for red granite
bulletLinks to Web sites about red granite
  

How to recognize red granite

bulletFrom a distance, it looks reddish or pink.  Up close, you will also see dark gray and purplish spots.
bulletYou can't scratch granite with a nail or knife.  (See more about the scratch test.)
bulletSome broken surfaces have flat surfaces that shine in sunlight.
bulletGranite is made mostly of the minerals feldspar and quartz.  (Reddish feldspars give this granite its color and break to form flat surfaces.  The quartz crystals may be a semi-clear grayish or purplish color.)   
bulletMany granites also contain small crystals of mica or darker minerals.
    

Other rocks that look like red granite

Pink quartzite:  
bulletPink quartzite is also reddish in color and hard to scratch.
bulletBut, quartzite is made of just one mineral (quartz). 
  
Pegmatite:  
bulletPegmatite is often pinkish in color, and most pieces are hard to scratch.
bulletLike granite, pegmatite is also made mostly of pinkish feldspar and whitish quartz.
bulletHowever, pegmatite crystals are much larger than granite crystals (often bigger than your fingernail!)
  
Saprolite:  
bulletSaprolite is also reddish in color, and freshly broken surfaces may be hard to scratch.
bulletSaprolite is weathered granite.  Fragments are often stained rusty red or coated with a dark reddish crust.

     

Where red granite came from

We know that somebody blasted this rock out of a 
quarry and then crushed it into gravel-sized bits.
However, we haven't yet discovered exactly where 
our red granite was quarried.  (Similar rocks are 
quarried in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma, 
but we're not sure if our granite came from one of 
those states or somewhere else.)

If you want to learn more about how granite is quarried, 
you can take an online "tour" of a granite quarry in 
Scotland at this link:
< http://www.cloburn.co.uk/thequarryprocess.htm >

 

How red granite formed

Most granite forms from melted rock that 
cools and hardens far below the surface of
the Earth.

  

Other names for red granite

We use the scientific name "granite" for this rock,
but it is also known by other names:

bulletWe've seen 50-pound bags of red granite gravel labeled "crimson red."

  

Here are some ways to classify granite (by grouping it with similar types of rocks):
 
bulletGranite is an igneous rock, because it formed as melted rock cooled and hardened.
 
bulletGranite is sometimes classified as an intrusive igneous rock, because the melted rock cooled slowly, deep inside the Earth.

   

Links to Web sites about red granite

Geobop's Geosymbols: Granite.  Granite is the state rock for six
states.  This page tells lists all six, and tells you lots more about
granite.
   < http://www.geobop.com/Symbols/Geo/1/Granite/ >

Willis Granite Products in Oklahoma, USA, uses red granite to 
make historical monuments, veterans memorials, and bases 
for sculptures and birdbaths:
   < http://www.willisgranite.com/ >

Cloburn Quarry in Scotland uses crushed red granite gravel 
as landscape stone and to make reddish concrete and asphalt:
   < http://www.cloburn.co.uk/redgranite.htm >
You can see an online tour of their quarry at:
   < http://www.cloburn.co.uk/thequarryprocess.htm >

Search for "red granite" on the Web -- you'll find many
other commercial sources for red granite.  (We found
Websites for granite quarries in India, Finland, Australia,
and South Africa.)

  


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Copyright 2001-2002 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                                        Search this Site
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This page was created on May 2, 2001, and it was last updated on July 27, 2002.