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Al Awabi quartzite

The Cretaceous quartzite here originated in the time of the dinosaurs around 90 million years ago. The quartzite was originally sandstone. It changed its structure (metamorphosed) under heavy pressure when the ocean floor was pushed over oceanic sediments and the Arabian plate. This caused the quartz crystals within the sandstone to change, recrystalising to form a new rock:  quartzite.

The varying reddish colors in the quartzite are due to different amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3) while the yellow and orange are traces of other minerals.

These rocks are considered to be semi-gemstones; useful for building, sculpture or jewelry.

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