Granite is a coarse-grained igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly solidifies underground. It is common in the Earth’s continental crust, where it is found in various kinds of igneous intrusions. These range in size from dikes only a few inches across to batholiths exposed over hundreds of square kilometers.
Granite is typical of a larger family of granitic rocks that are composed mostly of coarse-grained quartz and feldspars in varying proportions. These rocks are classified by the relative percentages of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase (the QAPF classification), with true granite representing granitic rocks rich in quartz and alkali feldspar. Most granitic rocks also contain mica or amphibole minerals, though a few (known as leucogranites) contain almost no dark minerals.
A microscopic picture of granite
Granite is nearly always massive (lacking any internal structures), hard, and tough. These properties have made granite a widespread construction stone throughout human history.