Definition of xenolith in English:



  • A piece of rock within an igneous mass which is not derived from the original magma but has been introduced from elsewhere, especially the surrounding country rock.

    • ‘If the magma has risen quickly from the source region of the volcano, the xenoliths may represent country rock from all levels of the crust through which it has travelled.’
    • ‘Partial melting models, isotopic studies and the petrology of entrained ultramafic xenoliths suggest that many basanitic magmas are sourced in the asthenosphere.’
    • ‘However, rare xenoliths of sedimentary rocks occur in the granite.’
    • ‘The granite contains abundant xenoliths of the country rock.’
    • ‘The basalt, inferred to be of Miocene age, appears to be an alkali basalt that contains xenoliths of ultramafic rocks (peridotite and pyroxenite) up to a few centimeters in size.’