Xenolith(redirected from xenolithic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
a rock fragment that is foreign to the igneous rock in which it occurs. If the igneous rock enclosing the xenolith solidified at a great depth, then the xenoliths are usually greatly altered fragments of those rocks into which the magma intruded. But if the xenoliths are enclosed in the lava of a volcano, then they are usually fragments from the walls of the volcanic vent. The dimensions of the xenoliths vary greatly; they may be as small as individual crystals and their fragments, which can be distinguished only under a microscope (xenocrysts), or as large as several dozens or hundreds of meters.