Igneous rocks consist of primarily 12 types of oxides. felsic vs. mafic 20 Terms. The mineral grains in such rocks can generally be recognized with the bare eye. The terms mafic and felsic apply to igneous rocks. Basalt qualifies as a mafic igneous rock because of its high level of magnesium oxide. Regional Metamorphism: Definition & Differences, Volcanic vs Plutonic Igneous Rocks: Definition and Differences, What is Geology? Mafic and felsic are not commonly used terms, as one may observe. The lavas that are cooled to form these rocks are also different, in terms of their viscosity. Scoria has more holes and may be black or red in color. The most common examples of rocks classified as Mafic are gabbro, dolerite, and basalt. The low density and light-weight, ascribable to the presence of light-weight minerals such as oxygen, sodium and potassium. Felsic rocks and magma contain high levels of feldspar and silicon. The type of lava emitted in an eruption can reveal intimate details of the inner workings of not only the volcano, but also the underlying geological processes governing Earth’s surface. So felsic rocks are light colored and mafic rocks are dark colored. The high silica content (70-85%) is because of the geographical location the felsic rocks are found at. GLASSY TEXTURE These minerals are high in magnesium and ferric oxides, and their presence gives mafic rock its characteristic dark colour. Felsic. Mafic lava forms basalt and is associated with the lava flows seen on the Hawaiian Islands and similar shield volcanoes. mafic. As with most classification terminology in science, the names come from historical usage by geologists over more than two centuries. Felsic rocks, in general, form the bulk of the continental plates, while mafic basalt forms the seafloor. Basalt is an extrusive mafic volcanic rock. Texture: aphanitic; Composition: mafic (enriched in iron and magnesium) - Definition, History, Facts & Topics, What is Deformation? BASALT - aphanitic (small crystals) of mafic minerals: olivene, pyroxene, etc. 1. determine texture: coarse-grained (visible crystals) = plutonic, fine-grained (microscopic crystals), or porphyritic (visible crystals in fine groundmass) = volcanic. Felsic, intermediate and mafic igneous rocks differ in their mineral composition. Since igneous rocks are characterised by silica content in them, mafic is the one with less silica content (approx. Mafic customers use basalt products to save weight, improve performance, and remain cost competitive. Scoria is a dark-colored igneous rock with abundant round bubble-like cavities known as vesicles. Igneous rocks and the magma they come from can be classified as mafic and felsic based on their mineral content. Mafic rock is commonly contrasted with felsic rock, in which light-coloured minerals predominate. Rhyolite, andesite, and basalt form a series that varies in composition, from felsic to mafic because of an increasing fraction of iron+magnesium rich minerals that darkens the tone. Mafic magmas are usually produced at spreading centers, and represent material which is newly differentiated from the upper mantle. There are also many things about the ocean and its surface which we do not know much about. 2. Most mafic minerals are dark in color, and common rock-forming mafic minerals include olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, and biotite. Felsic rocks are light in color and are composed of feldspars and silicates. Difference Between Beans and Legumes (With Table), Difference Between Cortical and Juxtamedullary Nephrons (With Table), “The purpose of Ask Any Difference is to help people know the difference between the two terms of interest. Mafic rocks often also contain calcium-rich varieties of plagioclase feldspar. Olivine occurs … A dominant component of oceanic crust, basalt is the most abundant volcanic rock. Additionally, they contain somewhat more gas than do the ultramafic magmas, but not nearly so much as the felsic magmas. The difference between Mafic and Felsic rocks are the silica content present. Read More on This Topic Felsic Magmas: The rocks that form from this type of magma are representative of continental rocks. Due to the low viscosity of the lava, the lava erupted are usually very runny. Felsic applies to silicate ores, magma, and rocks which are enhanced in the thinner components such as silicon, oxygen, sodium, and potassium. What is a metamorphic rock formed from basalt? Mafic magma is less viscous than felsic magma. mafic. Igneous rocks are those that crystallize from magma, or liquid rock. Is the mantle mafic or felsic? (Please note that some geologists with questionable motives switch the order of the … Occurrence of igneous rocks can be either intrusive (plutonic) or extrusive (volcanic). felsic: glass (may contain a few minerals typical of felsic rocks) pumice: mafic: glass (may contain a few mineral typical of mafic rocks) scoria: Note: Basalt with fewer holes, known as vesicles, is called vesicular basalt. Mafic rocks are darker and are composed of magnesium and iron. Common mafic rocks include basalt, diabase and gabbro. On the other hand, explosive eruptions are typical of the felsic … MAFIC Mafic lava is basically known as rock formation basalt. They are mostly found in specific geographic areas known as convergent zones, where the geologic plates collide. Obsidian is a natural glass - it lacks crystals, and therefore lacks minerals. Mafic rocks are abundant in the Earth's crust beneath the oceans. Thus, these rocks have low density unlike mafic rock, which have high density are heavy. as coarse-grained plutonic rocks are porphyraceous. Basalt, one of the common examples of Mafic rock has only 50% silica content. Textural terms include: 1. BASALT. Since igneous rocks are characterised by silica content in them, mafic is the one with less silica content (approx. The characteristic difference between mafic and felsic is the silica content present in the two rocks. To set some ground rules: All of these are igneous rocks. Mafic lava produces basalt while felsic lava originates rhyolite and andesitic rocks. The difference in the level of silica present in the two arises from the origin of the two rocks. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024493704002014, https://mingtang.me/publications/Tang%20et%20al_Science%202016.pdf, Comparison Table Between Mafic and Felsic, Main Differences Between Mafic and Felsic, Difference Between Lucifer and Satan (With Table), Difference Between Parrot and Macaw (With Table), Low viscosity due to the high temperature of lava. It is an extremely vesicular basaltic lava with very small ( 1mm) vesicles. Common mafic rocks include basalt and gabbro. d. mafic magma mixes with felsic material. Mafic rocks are rich in the heavy minerals, iron and magnesium. What are bright streaks around a moon crater? It is relatively deep study of minerals and geology in a broad sense. Mafic is the acronym for magnesium and ferric (Latin for Iron) because this igneous rock is rich in these two minerals. Most of these rocks are gray though Mafic rocks are also found in brown, green, and even black colors. 3.Mafic lava induces weaker eruptions as opposed to the stronger eruptions in felsic lava. Mafic rocks contain heavier elements and include basalt … The color of the rock is related to its mineralogical composition, so felsic rocks are rich in quartz, and mafic rocks are poor in … These rocks are also rich in other minerals like oxygen, potassium and sodium. Obsidian consists mainly of SiO 2 (silicon dioxide), usually 70% or more. But Felsic is rich in silica and aluminium. So, for example, a mafic, phaneritic rock would be a gabbro , but a mafic, aphanitic rock would be a basalt . The difference between Mafic and Felsic rocks are the silica content present. There is a contrasting difference even in the appearance of the two igneous rocks; one being dark shaded and the other having light shade. Intermediate rocks are composed of the minerals amphibole and feldspar and contain a combination of light and dark minerals. intermediate. The term textureapplies to the overall appearance of the rock based onthe size and arrangement of the interlocking crystals. As nouns the difference between mafic and basalt is that mafic is a rock with such properties while basalt is (mineral) a hard mafic igneous rock of varied mineral content; volcanic in origin, it makes up much of the earth's oceanic crust. The mafic lava usually has a low viscosity and is running. Granite and rhyolite are considered felsic, while basalt and gabbro are mafic (click here for more information on mafic and felsic). Igneous Rocks. The most common felsic rock is granite, which represents the purified end product of the earth’s internal differentiation process. Igneous rocks, characterized by their silica content can be put in two categories: mafic and felsic (other two categories being ultramafic and intermediate). Common mafic rocks include basalt, dolerite, and gabbro. It includes microgranular mafic enclaves (MMEs) which tend to be, as their name implies, finer-grained and darker in color than the granitoid in which they are hosted. Igneous rock - Igneous rock - Mineralogical components: The major mineralogical components of igneous rocks can be divided into two groups: felsic (from feldspar and silica) and mafic (from magnesium and ferrous iron). Light-colored Rhyolite Although, the two are igneous rocks, which are defined by their levels of silica, the difference in the silica content in the two rocks, is its origin. Common mafic rocks include basalt and gabbro. All rights reserved. - Definition, Types & Process, Unconformities in Geology: Definition & Types, Detrital & Chemical Sedimentary Rocks: Definition & Differences, Mid-Ocean Ridge: Definition, Facts, Formation & Example, High School Physical Science: Homework Help Resource, High School Biology: Homework Help Resource, Holt McDougal Modern Chemistry: Online Textbook Help, High School Physics: Homework Help Resource, Glencoe Chemistry - Matter And Change: Online Textbook Help, Glencoe Physical Science: Online Textbook Help, NY Regents Exam - Chemistry: Help and Review, Biological and Biomedical 2. determine color/composition: mostly light minerals = felsic; half light, half black (or gray in fine grained rocks) = intermediate; mostly black minerals = mafic; mostly olivine = ultramafic The silica level of felsic rocks is 70-85%, which is contributed to its origin, the convergent zone. Mafic, felsic, and intermediate extrusive rocks. Mafic rocks include basalt, its intrusive equivalent of gabbro, and a variety of less common rock types with higher or lower contents of Na and K. Andesite and its intrusive equivalent, diorite, with slightly higher silica content, are intermediate between mafic and felsic. Ask Any Difference is a website that is owned and operated by Indragni Solutions. There is one important exception to the dark = mafic rule, and that is aphanitic, vesicle-free, black or very dark-gray glass that is called obsidian. The type of lava emitted in an eruption can reveal intimate details of the inner working… youfancyyhuh. Mafic has low levels of silica. Is Basalt felsic? © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Felsic rocks are usually light in color and have specific gravities less than 3. The low density of these rocks is due to the low content of silica present in them. Rhyolite also fine grained Diorite and andesite are both intermediate Gabbro and basalt are both mafic Mineral Composition: rhyolite and granite both are felsic Diorite and andesite are composed of hornblende, feldspar and pyroxene Gabbro and basalt are both composed of feldspar and pyroxene Different … 45-55%) while felsic is the one with a greater silica content (approx.70-90%). Felsic rocks are light in color and are composed of feldspars and silicates. The felsic minerals include quartz, tridymite, cristobalite, feldspars (plagioclase and alkali feldspar), feldspathoids (nepheline and leucite), muscovite, and corundum. Mafic rocks are darker and are composed of magnesium and iron. Mafic definition, of or relating to rocks rich in dark, ferromagnesian minerals. Gabbro is a phaneritic (coarse-grained), mafic intrusive igneous rock formed from the slow cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich magma into a holocrystalline mass deep beneath the Earth's surface. Felsic refers to silicate minerals, magma, and rocks which are enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium.Felsic magma or lava is higher in viscosity than mafic magma/lava.Felsic rocks are usually light in color and have specific gravities less than 3. The terms felsic and mafic refer to the elemental composition of silicate minerals and igneous rocks–specifically, the amount of iron and magnesium present. This magma has a low viscosity, which allows for gases to escape the volcano, and for the lava flows to erupt calmly and predictably. Bubbles that form in felsic magma can not move as well. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. See more. Felsic is also rich in low-density minerals like oxygen, sodium and potassium. Graphite is a well-known example of felsic rocks. Felsic refers to silicate minerals, magma, and rocks which are enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium. Porphyritic Granite. In the simplified classification, the intermediate (intermediate toned) aphanitic, crystalline igneous rock is andesite. Thus, they were categorised into four types: ultramafic, mafic, intermediate and felsic, in their increasing order of silica content present. Igneous Rock (textures) 13 Terms. The Felsic melt richer in silica is more viscous and less hot and often solidifies deep in the crust, giving Granites. Scoria has more holes and may be black or red in color. Mafic has low levels of silica. 45-55%) while felsic is the one with a greater silica content (approx.70-90%). “Mafic” is a term used to describe the densest lava flows. That is not explosive or violent. 5.Either in describing rocks or lava, mafic means that the lava or rock has less silica while felsic implies that the lava or rock has the most silica. 4.Mafic lava creates basalt while felsic lava produces andesitic and rhyolite rocks. Most of these rocks are gray though Mafic rocks are also found in brown, green, and even black colors. Mafic is rich in heavy minerals like magnesium and ferric, or iron. Gabbro and basalt are both dark Texture: granite shows a range of grain sizes. answer! Become a Study.com member to unlock this Dark-Colored Basalt Mafic and felsic can only be used to describe igneous rocks. On the other hand, Felsic has much higher levels of silica. Compilations of many rock analyses show that rhyolite and granite are felsic, with an average silica content of about 72 percent; syenite, diorite, and monzonite are intermediate, with an average silica content of 59 percent; gabbro and basalt are mafic, with an average silica content of 48 percent; and peridotite is an ultramafic rock, with an average of 41 percent silica. This is since their origin is mostly the sea bed, that is not abundant in silica. These are interpreted to be small blobs of immiscible mafic magma within a larger felsic … Geologists traditionally divide the compositions of the igneous rocks into four major groups or … Services, What is Basalt? But felsic rocks are light-coloured and have a smooth surface. Crystalline rocks with obsidian's composition include granite and rhyolite. It is also known to be a mnemonic, combining (fe) for feldspar, (l) for lenad or feldspathoid, and (s) for silica. 5.Either in describing rocks or lava, mafic means that the lava or rock has less silica while felsic implies that the lava or rock has the most silica. tennisqueena. 1. determine texture: coarse-grained (visible crystals) = plutonic, fine-grained (microscopic crystals), or porphyritic (visible crystals in fine groundmass) = volcanic. Start studying Intrusive or Extrusive/Mafic or Felsic. felsic. Hence, there are much more pores in pumice than in scoria and they are smaller. intermediate. felsic: glass (may contain a few minerals typical of felsic rocks) pumice: mafic: glass (may contain a few mineral typical of mafic rocks) scoria: Note: Basalt with fewer holes, known as vesicles, is called vesicular basalt. They tend to have high Silicon content, also known as Silica content. This is the mineral that gives basalt its dark color. YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE... Igneous Rock Texture & Process 8 Terms. Common mafic rocks include basalt and its coarse-grained intrusive equivalent, gabbro. Whereas, felsic rocks have high viscosity. Basalt... Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. Common mafic rocks include basalt, dolerite, and gabbro. Approximately only 45-55%. Felsic. In column 2, indicate whether the rock is mafic, felsic, or intermediate. Mafic rocks are generally found in dark shades of green or greenish-black in colour. Whereas, felsic rocks are rich in silica and aluminium along with oxygen, sodium and potassium that gives the light shade for these rocks. It is commonly erupted as passive lava flows due to its low viscosity (resulting from high magmatic temperatures and low silica contents). 3. Gabbro is the name given to intrusive mafic rocks, whereas basalt is the name given to extrusive mafic rocks. Felsics’s tendency to cap steam and other gases means eruptions of an explosive nature are more likely 4.Mafic lava creates basalt while felsic lava produces andesitic and rhyolite rocks. - Formation, Properties & Types, What is Limestone? Felsic refers to silicate minerals, magma, and rocks which are enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium. Phenocrysts that make up porphyry should be felsic (quartz, feldspar). The most common examples of rocks classified as Mafic are gabbro, dolerite, and basalt. Well, as you can see, mankind is very good when a need arises to make simple concepts difficult to understand. Basalt is a mafic extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich lava exposed at or very near the surface of a terrestrial planet or a moon. The location has high levels of silica along with water and burnt earth (due to the magma), thus making the lava sticky. Since the surface of the earth is covered by oceanic and continental crustal materials, granite and basalt … Felsic. The floor of the ocean is made of basalt but most of us do not know. Home » Science » Difference Between Mafic and Felsic (With Table). It is a glassy-textured, extrusive igneous rock. The silica level of mafic rocks is 45-55%, which is because they are originated in volcanoes present at the sea bed. Vesicular Basalt. They are also contrastingly different in colour: Mafic being dark shades of green while Felsic is usually lightly shaded rocks. b. volcanoes lie above transform faults. In addition to silicon, felsic lavas also contain other light elements, such as oxygen, sodium, potassium and aluminum. Mafic rocks are obtained from mostly the sea bed volcanoes whereas felsic rocks are obtained from the cooling of lavas from the convergent zones. In terms of chemistry, mafic rocks are on the other side of the rock spectrum from the so-called felsic rocks. Basalt, one of the common examples of Mafic rock has only 50% silica content. Mafic magmas are usually produced at spreading centers, and represent material which is newly differentiated from the upper mantle. Although there are … Approximately, 70-85%. Felsic minerals are typically light in color (commonly clear, white, or pink) and rich in lighter elements, like silicon, oxygen, aluminum, sodium, and potassium. c. volcanoes lie on continental margins inland of subduction zones. The term mafic is derived from magnesium and the Latin word for iron, while felsic is derived from the words feldspar and silicone.

This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The mafic magmas are somewhat more viscous than the ultramafic magmas, but they are still fairly fluid. We write on the topics: Food, Technology, Business, Pets, Travel, Finance, and Science”, Difference Between Mafic and Felsic (With Table). nadineklein. A mafic rock can be extrusive like basalt, or intrusive like gabbro. The term roughly corresponds to the older basic rock class. 2. determine color/composition: mostly light minerals = felsic; half light, half black (or gray in fine grained rocks) = intermediate; mostly black minerals = mafic; mostly olivine = ultramafic Create your account. So, what is it? The few that know the existence of these words are mainly geologists or ones related to that field of study. Is Basalt felsic? Mafic lava forms basalt and is associated with the lava flows seen on the Hawaiian Islands and similar shield volcanoes. This is the mineral that gives basalt its dark color.