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Quartzite pebbles ("KWARTZ-ite") 

These pebbles are all made of grains of quartz cemented and in some case almost welded together.  In some pebbles the cements have dissolved away, so the grains are starting to crumble.

Some pebbles are white, and others are stained yellow or brown by small amounts of "rust" (iron oxide).

To learn more about these quartzite pebbles, scroll farther down this page.

  
bulletHow to recognize quartzite pebbles
bulletOther rocks that look like quartzite pebbles
bulletWhere these quartzite pebbles came from
bulletHow quartzite formed
bulletOther names for these quartzite pebbles
bulletLinks to Web sites about quartzite
  

How to recognize quartzite pebbles

bulletThese pebbles are usually white, yellowish, or light brown.
bulletOn many broken pebbles, you can see large sand-sized grains.  Some of the pebbles crumble to the touch.
bulletYou cannot scratch quartzite with a nail or knife.  However, you may rub off a few loose sand grains.  (See more about the scratch test.)
bulletThese pebbles are made almost entirely of the mineral quartz.
     

Other rocks that look like quartzite pebbles

Quartzite pebbles the only rocks in our neighborhood
that is this rounded and hard.
   
  

Where these quartzite pebbles came from

We don't know!  Please write us at Rocks@SaltTheSandbox.org 
if you can tell us where they were quarried or mined.
  

How quartzite formed

Quartzite was originally a sandstone, made of grains 
of quartz sand cemented into rock.  This rock was later 
altered by heat and pressure, which sealed the grains even 
more tightly together, changing it into much tougher quartzite 
rock.
  

Other names for these quartzite pebbles

Other names for this rock:

bulletWe found 50-pound bags of these pebbles labeled "Sand Pebbles" and "Silica Pebbles."  (Silica is is another word for the mineral "quartz.")
  
Here are some ways to classify quartzite (by grouping it with similar types of rocks):
  
bulletQuartzite is a metamorphic rock, because it was changed by heat and pressure from one rock type into another.
  
bulletQuartzite is sometimes classified as a meta-sedimentary rock, because it was originally a sedimentary rock.

   

Links to Web sites about quartzite

The Volcano World Web site has a short page about quartzite.
   < http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/vwlessons/lessons/Slideshow/Merocks/Merock6.html >

The Stone Age Reference Collection Web site discusses 
quartzite as a raw material for making stone tools.
   < http://www.hf.uio.no/iakk/roger/lithic/quartzite.html >

The Quartzite Rock Association advocates for the use of 
quartzite in road and building construction.  (Their home
page shows a picture of a quartzite quarry.)
   < http://www.quartzite.com/index.htm >

  


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Copyright 2001-2002 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                                          Search this Site
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Neighborhood Rocks is part of the Salt the Sandbox Web. 
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This page was created on May 2, 2001, and it was last updated on September 13, 2002.