By C.R. Twidale (Auth.)
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662. A cubic metre of granite weighs of the order of 2,658 kg, or almost two tonnes a cubic yard. Its physical hardness varies according to composition, and princi- pally with the proportion and type of feldspar present. U n i t y , granite is flexible in thin sheets. Despite its crystal- It also has considerable compressive strength. Granite is characteristically of low porosity and permeability. In outcrops and near-surface zones, however, it is commonly fissured and fractured and is therefore pervious.
OCCURRENCES OF GRANITE Granitic rocks, including granite gneisses, are exposed over about 15% of the continents, of which, therefore, they are a significant component. The study of pressure waves generated by earthquakes shows that the earth is not a homogeneous mass, but rather that it consists of shells of different materials surrounding a core (Fig. 1 (a)). The innermost contiguous layer is composed of dense material of basaltic composition. Known as the sima, a mnemonic derived from its two principal components, silica and magnesia, it forms the floors of the oceans.
Cloos, Workers such as Richter and Kamanine (1956) relate the major orthogonal sets of such areas as the Canadian and Baltic shields to regional concentric and radial fracture patterns, and writers like Carey (1955) to major shears in the crust. But, whatever the ultimate causes, the fractures are shear couples. associated with kG Fig. 21. Large-scale joint sets forming a rhomboidal pattern in plan, and with gneissic foliation striking across the parallelograms, Hamilton district of central Labrador (Dept.