The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

6 of 10 • start over

North Geology Tour

Stop 6c: You're so Vein

DIRECTIONS: Look for long bands of coloration in the rock. These are VEINS. (37.52959° N, 077.45529° W)

During the formation of the Fall Zone, the movement of the tectonic plates created extreme pressure and heat, causing underground minerals to liquefy.

This hot, mineral-rich liquid was less dense than surrounding rocks, and the pressure forced it into cracks in the granite. The liquid eventually cooled and solidified and is now visible as VEINS in the granite. These veins are also called INTRUSIONS and are usually composed of a single mineral, such as quartz or feldspar. Veins with redder coloration contain more iron.

If you explore carefully, you may find veins with abrupt zigzag shapes. These offsets occur when the granite is faulted and shifts the direction of the mineral vein.

vein in rock


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