One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fine-grained volcanic igneous rock composed of alkali feldspars and nepheline.
- ‘In the Canaries, the lavas are much more compositionally varied in each of these stages, ranging from tholeiitic basalts to phonolites and trachytes.’
- ‘South of the city of Isparta pyroclastic rocks are interbedded with rhyolite, trachyte, phonolite and lamproite flows (the Golcuk and Bucak Volcanics of Savascin et al.).’
- ‘Plagioclase dramatically removes Sr at intermediate stages and alkali feldspars sequester Ba and Rb as late-stage trachytes and phonolites form in alkaline magmas.’
- ‘The dominant magma types are basalts and hawaiites, with lesser amounts of trachytes, quartz trachytes, alkali rhyolites and phonolites.’
Early 19th century: from phono- ‘relating to sound’ (because of its resonance when struck) + -ite.
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