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Difference between Mafic and Felsic

Difference between Mafic and Felsic

Mafic and felsic are two terms used to describe the chemical composition of rocks. Mafic rocks are rich in magnesium and iron, while felsic rocks are rich in silicon and potassium. The two compositions have different properties, which is why they are used to describe different types of rocks. Mafic rocks are typically darker in color and harder than felsic rocks. Felsic rocks often form volcanoes, while mafic rocks form mountains. Knowing the difference between mafic and felsic rocks can help you understand how the Earth’s surface is formed.

What is Mafic?

Mafic is a term used to describe igneous rocks that are rich in iron and magnesium. The word “mafic” comes from the Latin word for iron, “magnus.” Mafic rocks are usually dark in color and have a low silica content. They are typically found in the lower crust and upper mantle of Earth. Mafic rocks make up about two-thirds of Earth’s crust. The most common type of mafic rock is basalt. Basalt is a dark, fine-grained rock that is often used in construction. It is commonly found near volcanoes. Mafic rocks are also a major component of oceanic crust. The Earth’s ocean floors are mostly made of mafic rocks. Mafic rocks are important because they make up most of the Earth’s landmass. They are also a major source of minerals, including iron and magnesium. Mafic rocks are an important part of the Earth’s geology and should be studied carefully by geologists.

What is Felsic?

Felsic rocks are a type of igneous rock that is rich in silica and aluminum. These rocks are typically light in color and have a lower density than other types of igneous rocks. Felsic rocks are usually found in areas that have undergone recent volcanic activity. The term “felsic” comes from the Latin word for “flint,” which is a type of rock that is rich in silica. Felsic rocks are typically less resistant to weathering than other types of igneous rocks, and they are often used in construction projects where a durable material is not required.

Difference between Mafic and Felsic

Mafic and felsic are terms used to describe the two major types of rock.

  • Mafic rocks are rich in magnesium and iron, while felsic rocks are rich in silica and aluminum. Mafic rocks are generally dark in color, while felsic rocks are light in color. Mafic rocks are typically less dense than felsic rocks. Mafic rocks include gabbro, basalt, and obsidian, while felsic rocks include granite, rhyolite, and sandstone.
  • The difference between mafic and felsic rocks is largely due to their composition. Mafic rocks have a higher percentage of magnesium and iron, while felsic rocks have a higher percentage of silica and aluminum. Mafic rocks are more common in the Earth’s mantle, while felsic rocks are more common in the Earth’s crust.
  • The difference in composition between mafic and felsic rocks also explains their different densities. Mafic rocks are less dense because magnesium and iron have lower densities than silica and aluminum.
  • This difference in density also explains why mafic rocks are more commonly found in the Earth’s mantle. The mantle is less dense than the crust, so mafic rocks float on the mantle while felsic rocks sink into the crust.
  • The different densities of mafic and felsic rocks also explain their different colors. Mafic rocks are dark because they absorb more light than felsic rocks.

The high percentage of magnesium and iron in mafic rocks also makes them more magnetic than felsic rocks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mafic rocks are denser and contain more iron and magnesium than felsic rocks. Felsic rocks are lighter in color and contain more quartz and potassium feldspar than mafic rocks. While the two types of rocks have different chemical compositions, they both originate from the earth’s mantle. Mafic and felsic rocks are used for a variety of purposes, including construction and landscaping. Thanks for reading!

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