Olivine

In the heart of a volcanic rock

01

These images originate from basalt, i.e. from solidified lava.

02

The image shows a single olivine crystal, a mineral that is rich in iron and magnesium, with an olive-green colour.

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Olivine is a mineral that forms under conditions that are very different from those of the earth’s surface, and when it is exposed to atmospheric agents, it becomes unstable.

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The crystal in these photos is already degrading: the coloured bands passing through it are made from serpentine, which derives from the alteration of olivine.

Name: Basalt
Type of rock: Effusive magmatic rock
Minerals: Pyroxenes, olivine, plagioclase, magnetite. Calcite, serpentine and zeolites as altering minerals
Fossils: Absent
Location: Val di Sogno presso Malcesine (N 45° 44’53.1″ E 010° 47′ 45.2″)
Formatione: Basalt of the Val Logarina
Age: Middle Ecocene (about 56-38 million years
Depositional environment: Lave air or submarine.

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