37/210
Home / Tag geology /

Xenolith

DSCN3149.jpg Surface CurrentsThumbnailsOur Dynamic Earth

Patterns often reveal forces otherwise invisible to us. As you cross the bridge, look to your right for a small light-colored rock embedded in the dark basalt rock. This is a xenolith (zee-no-lith), a rock fragment foreign to the body of rock in which it occurs. When magma rose to the surface, it brought up pieces of limestone from 700 to 1,000 feet below us.

Uplift and erosion have exposed this rock (known as Kaibab limestone) elsewhere: at the rims of Grand Canyon and nearby Walnut Canyon and in cliffs at Wupatki National Monument.

Author
Meghann M. Vance, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories
File
DSCN3149.jpg
Filesize
1242 KB