What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a type of metamorphic rock. It was originally sandstone, but throughout the process of heating and pressure through tectonic compression it created quartzite. Pure quartzite is usually white, and usually shades of pink or red depending on the amounts of iron oxide. Yellow and orange colors are due to other mineral impurities. The original texture that sandstone has is erased by metamorphism. Only a few amounts of material still exist after this process such as, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay. This is what gives it that streak look when quartzite is formed. Another type of quartzite is, Orthoquartzite. It is pure sandstone that is composed of well rounded quartz grains, which are cemented by silica. Quartzite is very resistant to all types of weathering.
Since quartzite is a durable and hard material, crushed quartzite is often used as railway ballast. It is also a decorative stone and can be used to cover walls, roofing tiles, flooring and stair steps.
In the United States, quartzite can be found all over the east and west coast. It can be found in Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Central Texas, southwest Minnesota, Wisconsin and Utah. It is also seen in the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. It is also located in the United Kingdom that is called the Stiperstones. Also in the Scottish Highlands, several mountains are formed from Quartzite. In Canada, the
La Cloche Mountains are made up entirely white quartzite.