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The feldspathoids are a group of tectosilicate minerals which resemble feldspars but have a different structure and much lower silica content. They occur in rare and unusual types of igneous rocks, and are usually not found in rocks containing primary quartz. A notable exception where feldspathoids and quartz-bearing rocks are found together is the Red Hill Syenite. [1]

Foid, a contraction of the term feldspathoid, is applied to any igneous rock containing up to 60% modal feldspathoid minerals. For example, a syenite with significant nepheline present can be termed a nepheline-bearing syenite or nepheline syenite, with the term nepheline replaceable by any foid mineral. Such terminology is used in the Streckeisen (QAPF) classification of igneous rocks. [2]

Feldspathoid minerals

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Gabbro Coarse-grained mafic intrusive rock

Gabbro is a phaneritic (coarse-grained), mafic intrusive igneous rock formed from the slow cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich magma into a holocrystalline mass deep beneath the Earth's surface. Slow-cooling, coarse-grained gabbro is chemically equivalent to rapid-cooling, fine-grained basalt. Much of the Earth's oceanic crust is made of gabbro, formed at mid-ocean ridges. Gabbro is also found as plutons associated with continental volcanism. Due to its variant nature, the term gabbro may be applied loosely to a wide range of intrusive rocks, many of which are merely "gabbroic". By rough analogy, gabbro is to basalt as granite is to rhyolite.

Feldspar Group of rock-forming minerals

Feldspars are a group of rock-forming aluminium tectosilicate minerals, containing sodium, calcium, potassium or barium. The most common members of the feldspar group are the plagioclase (sodium-calcium) feldspars and the alkali (potassium-sodium) feldspars. Feldspars make up about 60% of the Earth's crust, and 41% of the Earth's continental crust by weight.

Syenite Intrusive igneous rock

Syenite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock with a general composition similar to that of granite, but deficient in quartz, which, if present at all, occurs in relatively small concentrations. Some syenites contain larger proportions of mafic components and smaller amounts of felsic material than most granites; those are classed as being of intermediate composition. The volcanic equivalent of syenite is trachyte.


Trachyte is an extrusive igneous rock composed mostly of alkali feldspar. It is usually light-colored and aphanitic (fine-grained), with minor amounts of mafic minerals, and is formed by the rapid cooling of lava enriched with silica and alkali metals. It is the volcanic equivalent of syenite.


Phonolite is an uncommon extrusive rock, of intermediate chemical composition between felsic and mafic, with texture ranging from aphanitic (fine-grained) to porphyritic. Its intrusive equivalent is nepheline syenite.

Basanite A silica-undersaturated basalt

Basanite is an igneous, volcanic (extrusive) rock with aphanitic to porphyritic texture. It is composed mostly of feldspathoids, pyroxenes, olivine, and plagioclase and forms from magma low in silica and enriched in alkali metal oxides that solidifies rapidly close to the Earth's surface.

Nepheline Silica-undersaturated aluminosilicate mineral

Nepheline, also called nephelite (from Ancient Greek νεφέλη (nephélē) 'cloud'), is a rock-forming mineral in the feldspathoid group – a silica-undersaturated aluminosilicate, Na3KAl4Si4O16, that occurs in intrusive and volcanic rocks with low silica, and in their associated pegmatites. It is used in glass and ceramic manufacturing and other industries, and has been investigated as an ore of aluminium.

Nepheline syenite

Nepheline syenite is a holocrystalline plutonic rock that consists largely of nepheline and alkali feldspar. The rocks are mostly pale colored, grey or pink, and in general appearance they are not unlike granites, but dark green varieties are also known. Phonolite is the fine-grained extrusive equivalent.


Tugtupite is a beryllium aluminium tectosilicate. It also contains sodium and chlorine and has the formula Na4AlBeSi4O12Cl. Tugtupite is a member of the silica-deficient feldspathoid mineral group. It occurs in high alkali intrusive igneous rocks.


Eudialyte, whose name derives from the Greek phrase Εὖ διάλυτος, eu dialytos, meaning "well decomposable", is a somewhat rare, nine member ring cyclosilicate mineral, which forms in alkaline igneous rocks, such as nepheline syenites. Its name alludes to its ready solubility in acid.

Essexite Dark gray or black holocrystalline plutonic rock

Essexite, also called nepheline monzogabbro, is a dark gray or black holocrystalline plutonic igneous rock. Its name is derived from the type locality in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States.

QAPF diagram Classification system for igneous rocks

A QAPF diagram is a double ternary diagram which is used to classify igneous rocks based on mineralogic composition. The acronym QAPF stands for "Quartz, Alkali feldspar, Plagioclase, Feldspathoid (Foid)". These are the mineral groups used for classification in QAPF diagram. Q, A, P and F percentages are normalized.

Monzonite Igneous intrusive rock with low quartz and equal plagioclase and alkali feldspar

Monzonite is an igneous intrusive rock, formed by slow cooling of underground magma that has a moderate silica content and is enriched in alkali metal oxides. Monzonite is composed mostly of plagioclase and alkali feldspar.


Hauyne or haüyne, also called hauynite or haüynite, is a tectosilicate sulfate mineral with endmember formula Na
. As much as 5 wt % K
may be present, and also H
and Cl. It is a feldspathoid and a member of the sodalite group. Hauyne was first described in 1807 from samples discovered in Vesuvian lavas in Monte Somma, Italy, and was named in 1807 by Brunn-Neergard for the French crystallographer René Just Haüy (1743–1822). It is sometimes used as a gemstone.

Borolanite is an historical petrological name for a pyroxene-melanite bearing nepheline syenite variety which contains nepheline-alkali feldspar pseudomorphs interpreted to be after leucite which occur as conspicuous white spots in the dark rock matrix. The rock occurs in the Borralan Igneous Complex or Loch Borralan Complex which is an alkalic igneous complex near Loch Borralan in northwest Scotland.


Litchfieldite is a rare igneous rock. It is a coarse-grained, foliated variety of nepheline syenite, sometimes called nepheline syenite gneiss or gneissic nepeheline syenite. Litchfieldite is composed of two varieties of feldspar, with nepheline, sodalite, cancrinite and calcite. The mafic minerals, when present, are magnetite and an iron-rich variety of biotite (lepidomelane).


Leucitite or leucite rock is an igneous rock containing leucite. It is scarce, many countries such as England being entirely without them. However, they are of wide distribution, occurring in every quarter of the globe. Taken collectively, they exhibit a considerable variety of types and are of great interest petrographically. For the presence of this mineral it is necessary that the silica percentage of the rock should be low, since leucite is incompatible with free quartz and reacts with it to form potassium feldspar. Because it weathers rapidly, leucite is most common in lavas of recent and Tertiary age, which have a fair amount of potassium, or at any rate have potassium equal to or greater than sodium; if sodium is abundant nepheline occurs rather than leucite.

Primary mineral

A primary mineral is any mineral formed during the original crystallization of the host igneous primary rock and includes the essential mineral(s) used to classify the rock along with any accessory minerals. In ore deposit geology, hypogene processes occur deep below the earth's surface, and tend to form deposits of primary minerals, as opposed to supergene processes that occur at or near the surface, and tend to form secondary minerals.

Red Hill Syenite

The Red Hill Syenite is a layered igneous rock complex in central New Hampshire, about 20 mi (32 km) east of Plymouth. The Red Hill Syenite is part of the White Mountain magma series, which underlays the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Red Hill is roughly oval-shaped, covers just under 7.7 square miles (20 km2), and has a summit elevation of 2,028 feet (618 m).


  1. "The Feldspathoid Group of Minerals". Amethyst Galleries' Mineral Gallery. Amethyst Galleries, Inc. Retrieved 6 Jul 2015.
  2. Allaby, Ailsa; Allaby, Michael (1999). A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Oxford University Press.