Encyclopedia Article


An intrusive igneous rock that forms when magma slowly crystalizes beneath the earth’s surface instead of erupting through the earth's surface as a dynamic expression of volcanic activity. When magma cools underground, it forms large crystals, giving granite its speckled appearance. Granite is commonly found throughout the U.S. Southwest since there are many volcanic mountain ranges in this region.

Photo Credit: 

"The granite cap that is Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park, taken from Glacier Point, July 23, 2012" by Images by John 'K' is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.