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rhyolite

rhyolite, fine-grained light-colored acidic volcanic rock. Rhyolite is chemically the equivalent of granite, and is thus composed primarily of quartz and orthoclase feldspar with subordinate amounts of plagioclase feldspar, biotite mica, amphiboles, and pyroxenes. Rhyolite lava exhibits a typical banded structure produced by its flow pattern. Rhyolite lavas occur in continental and submarine volcanoes, especially island arcs, and in igneous dikes. Rhyolite lavas are typically highly viscous and are explosively ejected from volcanoes. Rhyolites were formed in profusion in the Yellowstone Park area and throughout the southwestern portion of the United States.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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