They are soft and lustrous, with a peculiarly smooth feel, and though often confounded with mica-schists may be distinguished by their richness in magnesia; many of them contain tremolite or actinolite; others have residual grains of olivine or augite; and here also every gradation can be found between the unmodified igneous types and the perfectly metamorphic schists.
Tschermak, in 1878, regarded them as isomorphous mixtures of the following fundamental molecules: H 2 KA1 3 (SiO 4) 3, corresponding with muscovite; Mg 6 Si 3 0 12, a hypothetical polymer of olivine; and H4S15012, a hypothetical silicic acid.
Diabases pierce to Devonian rocks, and olivine rocks appear as dykes amidst the Triassic deposits.
Calcium silicate is also present in the minerals: olivine, pyroxenes, amphiboles, epidote, felspars, zeolites, scapolites (qq.v.).
Magnesium is found widely distributed in nature, chiefly in the forms of silicate, carbonate and chloride, and occurring in the minerals olivine, hornblende, talc, asbestos, meerschaum, augite, dolomite, magnesite, carnallite, kieserite and kainite.
Varieties of basaltic lava and tuff containing little or no olivine - the rock type known as labradorite.
The other minerals found in the concentrates are pebbles and fragments of pyrope, zircon, cyanite, chrome-diopside, enstatite, a green pyroxene, mica, ilmenite, magnetite, chromite, hornblende, olivine, barytes, calcite and pyrites.
There has been much contirversy concerning the nature and origin of the blue ground itself; and even granted that (as is generally believed) the blue ground is a much serpentinized volcanic breccia consisting originally of an olivine-bronzite-biotite rock (the so-called kimberlite), it contains so many rounded and angular fragments of various rocks and minerals that it is difficult to say which of them may have belonged to the original rock, and whether any were formed in situ, or were brought upfrom below as inclusions.
Friedlander, who obtained diamond by dissolving graphite in fused olivine; and still more from the experiments of R.
The boulder is a crystalline rock consisting of pyroxene (chrome-diopside), garnet, and a little olivine, and is studded with diamond crystals; a portion of it is preserved in the British Museum (Natural History).
Biotite and olivine are not really frequent in these rocks, and usually have been affected by resorption.
Igneous rocks are not extensively developed; in Wales they form an important feature and occur in considerable thickness; they are represented by lavas of olivine-diabase and by contemporaneous tuffs which are traversed by later granite and quartz felsite.
The recent lavas of the still active volcanoes of the south are olivine-bearing hypersthene-andesite and basalt.'
The more deep-seated type of these rocks is seen in the olivine-gabbro mass of Carlingford Mountain; but most of the igneous region became covered with sheets of basaltic lava, which filled up the hollows of the downs, baked the gravels into a layer of red flints, and built up, pile upon pile, the great plateaus of the north.