Granite Rock Pictures

01
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Granite Blocks, Mount San Jacinto, California

Granite outcrop
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

Granite is a coarse-grained rock found in plutons, which are large, deep-seated bodies of rock that slowly cooled from the molten state. This is also called a plutonic rock.

Granite is thought to form as hot fluids from deeper in the mantle rise and trigger widespread melting in the continental crust. It forms inside of the earth. Granite is a massive rock, and it has neither layers or structure along with large crystalline grains. This is what makes it such a popular stone to use in construction, as it is naturally available in large slabs.

Most of the earth's crust is made of granite. Granite bedrock is found from Canada to Minnesota in the United States. The granites there are known as being part of the Canadian Shield, and they are the oldest granite rocks on the continent. It is found throughout the rest of the continent and is common in the Appalachians, Rocky and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. When it is found in huge masses, they are known as batholiths.

Granite is a fairly hard rock, especially when it is measured on the Mohs Hardness Scale -- a common distinction tool used in the geology industry. Rocks classified using this scale are considered soft if they rank from a one to a three, and hardest if they are a 10. Granite rests at about a six or seven on the scale.  

View this gallery of granite pictures, which shows photos of some of the varieties of this rock. Note the different materials, such as feldspar and quartz, that make up different types of granite. Granite rocks are typically pink, gray, white, or red and feature dark mineral grains that run throughout the rocks.

02
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Sierra Nevada Batholith Granite, Donner Pass

The classic locality
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

The Sierra Nevada mountains, which are also known as John Muir's "range of light," owes its character to the light-colored granite that makes up its heart. View the granite that is on display here at Donner Pass.

03
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Sierra Nevada Granite

Quartz-Biotite Granite
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

This granite comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains and consists of quartz, feldspar, biotite, and hornblende.

04
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Sierra Nevada Granite Closeup

Garnet-Hornblende Granite
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

This granite from the Sierra Nevada mountains is made of feldspar, quartz, garnet, and hornblende.

05
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Salinian Granite, California

Salinian Granite
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

From the Salinian block in California, this granite rock is made of plagioclase feldspar (white), alkali feldspar (buff), quartz, biotite, and hornblende.

06
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Salinian Granite near King City, California

A textbook photo
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) 2007 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

View this close-up granite picture of a white granite. It comes from Salinian block, which is carried north from the Sierra batholith by the San Andreas fault.

07
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Peninsular Ranges Granite 1

Fresh roadside cobble
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

The Peninsular Ranges Batholith was once united with the Sierra Nevada Batholith. It has the same light-colored granite at its heart.

08
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Peninsular Ranges Granite 2

A similar closeup
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

Sparkling glassy quartz, white feldspar and black biotite are what make up the granite of the Peninsular Ranges Batholith.

09
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Pikes Peak Granite

A rare fayalite granite
Granite Photo Gallery. Photo (c) Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)

This exquisite granite is from Pikes Peak, Colorado. It is made up of alkali feldspar, quartz, and the dark-green olivine mineral fayalite, which can coexist with quartz in sodic rocks.