Rock and Stone

  • Erhard M. Winkler
Part of the Applied Mineralogy / Technische Mineralogie book series (MINERALOGY, volume 4)


Rock is the basic building material of the earth’s crust, and the original building material used by man. All rocks, called stone if fabricated, are composed of one or several kinds of minerals — these help to determine the physical and chemical properties of rocks. Detailed descriptive information on mineral properties is omitted here; it may be readily obtained from any text book on physical geology. The information, however, is summarized on a chart in Appendix A, with all mineral properties pertinent to the stone industry. Rocks are classified into three major groups based on their origin, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks:
  1. 1.

    Igneous or magmatic rocks are primarily crystallized from a fiery fluid silicate melt, either deep below the earth’s surface or at the surface. Texture and fabric of these rocks depend on their environment during crystalliLation. Granite, gabbro, basalt, porphyry, and others belong to this group.

  2. 2.

    Sedimentary rocks, or layered rocks, are formed by the concentration of debris of variable size and shape deposited by mechanical means or by precipitation, or by accumulation of organic skeletons and shells. Conglomerate, sandstone, shale, limestone marble, dolomite, travertine, and onyx marble are common sedimentary rocks.

  3. 3.

    Metamorphic rocks are derived either from igneous or sedimentary rocks recrystallized by the effect of pressure and temperature. Important rocks of this group are gneiss, slate, marble and crystalline quartzite. Figure 73 of the chapter Decay of Stone sketches the environments of the three main rock groups.



Sedimentary Rock Metamorphic Rock Igneous Rock Bedding Plane Clastic Sediment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bayly, B., 1968: Introduction to petrology. Prentice Hall, Inc., 371 p.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Etcher, D. L., 1968: Geologic Time. Prentice Hall, Inc., 149 p.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Folk, R. L., 1957: Petrology of sedimentary rocks. University of Texas, Hemphills, Austin, Texas.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Griffiths, J. C., 1967: Scientific methods in analysis of sediments. McGraw Hill, Inc., 508 p.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Park, W. C., and E. H. Schot, 1968: Stylolites: Their nature and origin. Journal Sedimentary Petrology 38 (1), 175–191.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pettijohn, F. J., 1957: Sedimentary rocks. Harper and Row, Inc., 2 nd ed., 718 p.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Weyl, P. K., 1959: Pressure solution and the force of crystallization — a phenomenological theory. Journal Geophysical Research 64, 2001–2025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erhard M. Winkler
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Science, Department of GeologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

Personalised recommendations