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a magmatic rock composed of plagioclase (andesine or oligoclase), hornblende, and more rarely, augite and biotite; sometimes quartz is present. Chemically, diorite is characterized by an average amount of silicic acid (55-65 percent).
Several varieties of diorite may be distinguished: quartz, quartzless, hornblende, augite, and biotite. Its color is gray to greenish-gray, and its structure is characterized by clearly defined idiomorphic plagioclase, which distinguishes it from biotite and amphibole. Diorite is not widespread and as a rule is found with granites and granodiorites, more rarely with other rock; it appears as a local facies.,In addition diorite may form independent stocks, veins, laccoliths, and other intrusive massifs. It is used as a building material and in road building. Some varieties of diorite have many shades of color and lend themselves to polishing; these are used to face buildings and to make such articles as vases, table tops, and pedestals. In ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia diorite was also used for sculpture. Hard, dense, and opaque, diorite is used as a general-purpose sculptural stone to create forms of severe structural design; it also used in fine graphic-linear cutting.
magmatic rock of paleotype habit, similar to basalt chemically and in its mineral composition. Diorite is characterized by a relatively small silica content (45-52 percent). Its coloring is dark gray or greenish black. The dioritic (ophitic) structure is formed by randomly placed elongated small plagioclase crystals, with augite in the interstices. Diorite is especially distributed in regions with gently sloping stratification of the sedimentary rock that encloses it, as well as among volcanic lava and tufa. Diorites form shallow, congealed bodies (sills and dikes) whose depth varies from a few cm to 200 m or more. Diorite is used for road-building stone and for stone casting.