Andesite is a fine-grained, extrusive igneous rock composed mainly of plagioclase with other minerals such as hornblende, pyroxene, and biotite. The specimen shown is about two inches (five centimeters) across.
What are Igneous Rocks?
Igneous rocks are formed from the solidification of molten rock material. Some form below Earth's surface. Some form on or above Earth's surface. We describe these two basic types:
Intrusive igneous rocks crystallize below Earth's surface, and the slow cooling that occurs there allows large crystals to form. Examples of intrusive igneous rocks are: diabase, diorite, gabbro, granite, pegmatite, and peridotite.
Extrusive igneous rocks erupt onto the surface, where they cool quickly to form small crystals. Some cool so quickly that they form an amorphous glass. These rocks include: andesite, basalt, dacite, obsidian, pumice, rhyolite, scoria, and tuff.
Pictures and brief descriptions of some common igneous rock types are shown on this page.