|Credit: Causeway Minerals|
Reticulite is a volcanic rock characterized by a high content by volume of bubbles of volcanic gas that gives as a crosslinked foam.
Reticulitis is formed when the lava is abruptly cooled, solidifying so rapidly that it does not allow the release of the gases contained in the bubbles after being ejected by a powerful lava source. The resulting material is a very fragile volcanic glass, in which the numerous rapidly expanding bubbles in the still-fluid lava interlock and fuse, creating the characteristic lattice structure of this rock.
Although it is sometimes considered a form of basaltic pumice stone , unlike true pumice stone, and despite its lightness, reticulite does not float on the surface of the water due to its open bubble structure with walls much thicker than walls Of the microscopic or sub-microscopic bubbles that predominate in pumice. With a porosity that can reach 98%, reticulitis is the least dense rock known on Earth.
It is so delicate it can be crushed between one's fingers, and it can't be expected to last long in most geological environments.
|A delicate framework of golden reticulite, also known as thread lace scoria. |
Credit: Causeway Minerals
|Reticulite from Kīlauea volcano , Hawaii .|