Dr. SaMeH S. Ahmed

Associate Prof. of Environmental Engineering

Classification of

Classification of felsic rocks

In order for a rock to be classified as felsic, it generally needs to contain more than 75% felsic minerals; namely quartz, orthoclase and plagioclase. Rocks with greater than 90% felsic minerals can also be called leucocratic, meaning 'light-coloured'.

Felsite is a petrologic field term used to refer to very fine-grained or aphanitic, light-colored volcanic rocks which might be later reclassified after a more detailed microscopic or chemical analysis.

In some cases, felsic volcanic rocks may contain phenocrysts of mafic minerals, usually hornblendepyroxene or a feldspar mineral, and may need to be named after their phenocryst mineral, such as 'hornblende-bearing felsite'.

The chemical name of a felsic rock is given according to the TAS classification of Le Maitre (1975). However, this only applies to volcanic rocks. If the rock is analyzed and found to be felsic but is metamorphic and has no definite volcanic protolith, it may be sufficient to simply call it a 'felsic schist'. There are examples known of highly sheared granites which can be mistaken for rhyolites.

For phaneritic felsic rocks, the QAPF diagram should be used, and a name given according to the granite nomenclature. Often the species of mafic minerals is included in the name, for instance, hornblende-bearing granite, pyroxene tonalite or augite megacrystic monzonite, because the term "granite" already assumes content with feldspar and quartz.

The rock texture thus determines the basic name of a felsic rock.

Close-up of granite from Yosemite National Park.
A specimen of Rhyolite.
Rock Texture Name of Felsic Rock
Pegmatitic Granite pegmatite
Coarse-grained (phaneritic) Granite
Coarse-grained and porphyritic Porphyritic granite
Fine-grained (aphanitic) Rhyolite
Fine-grained and porphyritic Porphyritic rhyolite
Pyroclastic Rhyolitic tuff or breccia
Vesicular Pumice
Amygdaloidal None
Vitreous (Glassy) Obsidian or porcellanite

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Mining Engineering

Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves practice, theory, science, technology, and the application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for    environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land. And, they develop new and improved means to protect the environment.


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Course 2016/17-1

  1. Computer Applications in Surveying  CE 473
  2. Surveying 1 CE 370
  3. Photogrammetry CE 474
  4. Surveying II  CE 371
  5. Design I  (round 4) CE 498

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Environmental Engineering 1

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Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
College of Engineering, Majmaah University
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