Colour Atlas of Rocks and Minerals in Thin Section

cover of Colour Atlas of Rocks and Minerals in Thin Section

Explains how to observe, describe and identify thin section samples of rocks and minerals using the polarising microscope.

In this concise, clear and handy-sized volume, aimed at the introductory undergraduate level, these highly respected and successful authors explain to the reader - with the help of 180 superb colour photomicrographs - how to observe, describe and identify thin section samples of rocks and minerals using the polarising microscope.

The book highlights important diagnostic features of minerals and deals with all rock types - igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic - with equal emphasis and authority, giving students the knowledge and confidence to begin to identify specimens for themselves. Each photograph has been specially prepared for the book and has been reproduced in a generous size to the highest quality.

In addition to its value to students and instructors in geology, geography, civil engineering and materials science, the book stands on its own as a beautiful collection of photomicrographs and a permanent source of reference and fascination for all those interested in the nature and science of the world of rocks and minerals.


"This is an excellent book. I am sure that this book will be welcomed both by beginners to thin-section studies, and by those of us who have become a little rusty."
Geology Today

"A book to be recommended."
Open University Geological Society Journal

"… the production is exquisite... It will make a useful contribution to petrographic teaching."
Geological Magazine


  • Focuses on fundamental skills at the introductory level - adoptable text.
  • Covers diagnostic features of minerals, and all rock types - igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.
  • Provides 180 large colour photomicrographs of the highest quality.



Part 1: Optical Minerology
The polarising microscope, Description of minerals

Part 2: Minerals
Introduction, Olivine, Orthopyroxene, Clinopyroxne, Two pyroxene intergrowth, Amphibole, Biotite, Muscovite, Quartz, Feldspars, Sanidine, Microcline, Plagioclase, Nepheline, Calcite, Garnet

Part 3: Igneous Rocks
Introduction, Periodite, Olivine-rich basalt, Basalt, Alkali dolerite, Olivine gabbro, Gabbro, Andesite, Diorite, Granodiorite, Rhyolite, Microgranite, Granite, Alkali granite, Phonolite, Nepheline syenite, Leucitite, Lamprophre, Ignimbrite

Part 4: Sedimentary Rocks
Introduction, Quartz arenite, Sub Arkose, Sublitharenite, Greywacke, Micaceous sandstone, Calcareous sandstone, Glauconitic sandstone, Ooid grainstone, Ooid packstone, Bioclast packstone, Bioclase wackestone, Intraclast grainstone, Peloid grainstone, Carbonate mudstone, Dolomite, Chert, Evaporite, Ironstone, Volcaniclastic rocks

Part 5: Metamorphic Rocks
Introduction, Mylonite, Biotite hornfels, Andalusite cordierite hornfels, Serpentinite, Chloritoid schist, Garnet mica schist, Diopside fosterite marble, Garnet amphibolite, Kyanite gneiss, Garnet cordierite sillimanite gneiss, Two pyroxene granulite, Anorthosite, Eclogite