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White powder inside a lava rock ( basalt)

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I found a large basalt rock in the river. It sturck me as strange. It took 17 hits with a concrete breaker to be able to knock a piece of the stone off, inside of the rock there was little pockets in the pockets there was a fine white powder . What could this powder be? There is no way the pockets could have been accessed from outside the rock. I was confused never seen or heard of this before. Can some one tell me what ut was and maybe how it came to be inside of a large basalt stone...?

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All sorts of minerals form in pockets of volcanic. Calcite  is super common. So are feldspar and quartz.

There is no way to identify a mineral without seeing the crystal structure and doing some basic physical observations. With no other information than "white powder" it could be a number of things.

Zeolite is soft and white and can be found as a powder. So as far as wild guesses based on zero information that is probably as close as you are going to get.

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Zeolites are a very large group of minerals that have many different crystal habits and colors. Some are white and some are delicate. Many, but not all, zeolites are formed in low temperature hydrothermal systems including volcanics.  If you uncovered one of the white, delicate zeolite minerals with a concrete breaker it would most likely be a powder by the time you saw it.

Try a more gentle method and you might end up with a beautiful, delicate and potentially rare zeolite crystal formation.

Or it could just be magic fairy dust or a meteorite both of which are pretty common discoveries on this forum.

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Explosive sandstone meteorites with diamond inclusions from Venus are a lot more common on this forum than zeolite or halites. So in this rarified air we breathe a gas bubble full of calcium might be worth millions.

There are lots of very soluble white minerals that could appear as a white powder in gas pockets in a low pressure volcanic. Especially after being worked over with a sledge hammer.

We could classify them all as "impact dust" and sell them on eBay for $5 a gram as the cure for ignorance. We will get 100% satisfaction ratings.

No doubt that basalt was hot enough to set fire to pine lumber when it hit. And Spanish masons could have made mortar out of the calcium minerals. This means any diamonds in the iron oxide and silica matrix probably came from Toledo.



How would you differentiate the halites from the zeolite from the calcites Clay? Is there a quick and dirty way to come to an educated conclusion without light refraction nd chemical analysis? These are some of the most fascinating minerals and I just don't know squat about identifying them. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Basalt is known for forming vesicles which sometimes get filled with materials. I think the term for this is "amygdules".

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