Staurolite schist - Connemara
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Fact sheet

Staurolite schist - Connemara

This rock was deposited as either a siltstone or as banded silt and mudstone in the late Proterozoic period, before being subject to regional metamorphism. It now forms part of the Dalradian succession within the ‘staurolite’ Barrovian metamorphic zone (Barrow zones include chlorite-biotite-garnet-staurolite-kyanite-sillimanite). The sample comes from an area between Letterfrack and Dawros, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland, part of the Irish Dalradian sequence that has been correlated with similar rocks in Scotland.

The thin section contains many small, inclusion poor grains of staurolite, which is a high relief mineral pleochroic with colours ranging from pale yellow to almost colourless in plane polarised light, and with low birefringence colours in crossed polars. The tectonic fabric of the rock is defined by muscovite and biotite micas, which alternate with layers dominated by quartz and feldspar. The Barrow indicator minerals garnet (in the bottom left corner of the section) and biotite are present, but the grade of the rock is defined by the presence of staurolite since it is the highest indicator mineral in Barrow’s classification.

Additional images
  • staurolite schist - width 9 cm
53.5581, -9.6186
Near Letterfrack, Co. Galway, Ireland
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
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.
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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: