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What is Quartz
Below is a transcription of the above sign found at the Valley of Fire Visitor Center.
Quartz is an oxide of silicone, a mineral which crystallizes out of magma (liquid rock) as it cools.
Quartz is the source material for sandstone, so in Valley of Fire is found in the great red and white formations so prominent in the park.
In some places, the sandstone was subjected to great heat and pressure and metamorphosed (changed) into quartzite.
Quartz makes up about 12% of all rocks on earth.
Quartz and calcite, forced into the joints in this ancient sandstone, erode more slowly, forming these sharp “fins.”
Quartz has many commercial uses: as an abrasive, a wood filler, and in glass and porcelain.
One of the most common uses today is in watches and clocks. When placed in an alternating electric current circuit, quartz crystals vibrate at a specific frequency, driving a small electric motor, that moves the hands of the clock.
Time Period: Pre-Cambrian – Mesozoic Eras
Location: White Domes, Silica Dome