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Book details Author: The common corrosion features of underwater volcanic basalt suggest that microbial activity may play a significant role in the chemical exchange between basaltic rocks and seawater. The significant amounts of reduced iron, Fe II , and manganese, Mn II , present in basaltic rocks provide potential energy sources for bacteria. Some Fe II -oxidizing bacteria cultured from iron-sulfide surfaces are also able to grow with basaltic rock as a source of Fe II.
On Earth, most basalt magmas have formed by decompression melting of the mantle. Basalt commonly erupts on Io the third largest moon of Jupiter ,  and has also formed on the Moon , Mars , Venus , and the asteroid Vesta. The crustal portions of oceanic tectonic plates are composed predominantly of basalt, produced from upwelling mantle below, the ocean ridges.
Basalt is one of the most common rock types in the world. Basalt is the rock most typical of large igneous provinces.
The largest occurrences of basalt are in the ocean floor that is almost completely made up by basalt. Above sea level basalt is common in hotspot islands and around volcanic arcs, specially those on thin crust. However, the largest volumes of basalt on land correspond to continental flood basalts.
Ancient Precambrian basalts are usually only found in fold and thrust belts, and are often heavily metamorphosed. These are known as greenstone belts , because low-grade metamorphism of basalt produces chlorite , actinolite , epidote and other green minerals. The dark areas visible on Earth's moon , the lunar maria , are plains of flood basaltic lava flows.
These rocks were sampled by the manned American Apollo program , the robotic Russian Luna program , and are represented among the lunar meteorites. Traditionally, lunar basalts have been classified according to their titanium content, with classes being named high-Ti, low-Ti, and very-low-Ti. Nevertheless, global geochemical maps of titanium obtained from the Clementine mission demonstrate that the lunar maria possess a continuum of titanium concentrations, and that the highest concentrations are the least abundant.
Lunar basalts show exotic textures and mineralogy, particularly shock metamorphism , lack of the oxidation typical of terrestrial basalts, and a complete lack of hydration.
Most of the Moon 's basalts erupted between about 3 and 3. Basalt is also a common rock on the surface of Mars , as determined by data sent back from the planet's surface,  and by Martian meteorites. Basalts are important rocks within metamorphic belts, as they can provide vital information on the conditions of metamorphism within the belt.
Metamorphosed basalts are important hosts for a variety of hydrothermal ore deposits, including gold deposits, copper deposits, volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits and others. Compared to other rocks found on Earth's surface, basalts weather relatively fast. The typically iron-rich minerals oxidise rapidly in water and air, staining the rock a brown to red colour due to iron oxide rust.
Chemical weathering also releases readily water-soluble cations such as calcium , sodium and magnesium , which give basaltic areas a strong buffer capacity against acidification. To this it must be added that the eruption of basalt itself is often associated with the release of large quantities of CO 2 into the atmosphere from volcanic gases.
Basalt is used in construction e. Heating and extruding basalt yields stone wool , said to be an excellent thermal insulator. Carbon sequestration in basalt has been studied as a means of removing carbon dioxide, produced by human industrialization, from the atmosphere. Underwater basalt deposits, scattered in seas around the globe, have the added benefit of the water serving as a barrier to the re-release of CO 2 into the atmosphere. Volcanic rocks: Subvolcanic rocks: Plutonic rocks: Picrite basalt Peridotite.
Basalt Diabase Dolerite Gabbro. Andesite Microdiorite Diorite. Dacite Microgranodiorite Granodiorite. Rhyolite Microgranite Granite.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A magnesium- and iron-rich extrusive igneous rock. For other uses, see Basalt disambiguation. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.
Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Subaerial eruption. Columnar jointing. See also: List of places with columnar basalt. Submarine eruption. Pillow lava. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved 27 July The University of Auckland. Volcano Hazards Program".
Geological Survey. Retrieved 8 February Journal of the Geological Society. British Geological Survey: Rock Classification Scheme. Archived from the original on 30 September Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 4 November Book 36, section 11 Loeb Classical Library: Key to plume-lithosphere interactions and continental flood-basalt genesis".
Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Retrieved CS1 maint: Multiple names: Ore Geology Reviews. Petrology of igneous and metamorphic rocks 2nd ed. Petrology 2nd ed. Plate Tectonics and Crustal Evolution. Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Isotopes and Trace Elements". In Carlson, Richard W. The Mantle and Core. Treatise on Geochemistry. Elsevier B. Contraction crack networks in basalt flows. Geological Magazine , Contemporary Physics. April A Role for Chemoautotrophic Fe-Bacteria". Biological Bulletin.
Geomicrobiology Journal. Volcanic Worlds: Exploring The Solar System's Volcanoes. The New York Times.
Retrieved 29 December Jeffrey; Hawke, B. Ray; Lucey, Paul G. Alexander Ablesimov, N. Basalts from eruption to fiber ] in Russian.