Amygdaloidal basalt - Papa Stour
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Fact sheet

Amygdaloidal basalt - Papa Stour

This fine-grained altered basalt is from Papa Stour, a remote island to the west of the Shetland Islands. The island is formed almost entirely of volcanic rocks erupted during the Devonian period. The sample was collected by the Scottish mineralogist Matthew Forster Heddle (1828—1897). Heddle, who was born on the Orkney Islands, wrote the first comprehensive 'Mineralogy of Scotland', although it wasn't published until after his death.

The rock sample contains altered plagioclase laths in a matrix of altered pyroxene, glass and opaque minerals, often altered to clays. The rock degassed as it erupted, and solidified rapidly to leave holes where the bubbles once were. Hot fluids passing through the rock deposited first a thin green layer of zeolite (pumpellyite), and then subsequently filled with large carbonate crystals, probably calcite.

Additional images
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60.326375, -1.688805
Papa Stour, Shetland, Scotland
About this collection

The United Kingdom Virtual Microscope (UKVM) collection consists of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks from around the UK.

It is intended as a teaching resource, helping to tell the story of the common rock types and how they form, and reflecting the history of the UK at the margins of the continent of Europe. The collection is a series of teaching sets, for example igneous rocks from the North Atlantic Igneous Province and SW England; high-temperature metamorphic rocks from Scotland and low-temperature metamorphic rocks from Wales; and sedimentary rocks, including English limestones and sandstones.

Sample details

Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: