Spherulite(redirected from Sphaerulite)
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a small sphere consisting of an aggregate of very fine acicular crystals radiating from a central point. Spherulites are found in magmatic and sedimentary rocks and vary in mineral composition and size. In magmatic rocks, spherulites are usually interpreted as endogenic contact formations in the marginal sections of diorites. In acidic lavas, they may occur through consolidation when the primary glassy mass cools; in basic lavas (variolites), such formations are called varióles. Spherulites also form in gas bubbles of already hardened rock during secondary precipitation of zeolites, quartz, and similar minerals; in such cases they may be called pseudospherulites. Carbonate, iron-manganese phosphate, chalcedonic, and other types of spherulites are found in sedimentary rocks. They usually result from the crystallization of material in colloidal nodules, and many are close in origin to concretions.