micROCKScopic.ro project description & features

Welcome to the micROCKScopic.ro project website containing a large thin-section collection of minerals and rocks under the petrographic microscope.

micROCKscopic.ro makes Optical Mineralogy and Petrology be easier to examine a thin section and to understand the characteristic properties of each mineral/rock without a petrographic microscope, which is known to be very expensive. The application is mainly addressed to geoscience students/geologists as a guide in individual or supervised laboratory work.

This database was undertaken to compensate for other research studies/laboratory materials/books that cover the optical properties of minerals under a microscope.

The study of rocks in thin section is the most effective way of giving the undergraduate or graduate student a true realization of the mineralogical constitution of rocks. Not until he has studied rocks in this way does the student actually apprehend the significance of such rock names as andesite, granite, etc. Thin section study thus performs a very important educational function in giving body to the terminology of rocks.

For the professional Geologist, petrography provides a most important check on field identifications.

This website project (micROCKscopic.ro) has been planned with the purpose of providing a brief start in Optical Mineralogy and Petrology, descriptions of the rock-forming minerals encountered in the more common rocks, properties of the most common minerals under the petrographic microscope to assist in the identification of these minerals, and description of the common rock types. All of these accompanied by a vast collection of photomicrographs taken in plane-polarized light/parallel light (PPL) and cross-polarized light/crossed nicols (XPL).

First use of the Atlas of Minerals and Rocks under the microscope

Browse minerals/rocks list by using the tree menu from the right menu


Use the search box from the top-right menu

Minerals under the microscope

Only the commoner rock-forming minerals are described in the mineralogical section. The minerals listed comprise over 99% of the constituents of the common rocks so that for most routine petrographic work no other source will be necessary.

Serpentine #2 XPL

Serpentine thin section

(Mineral group name), from Latin serpens (= snake), in allusion to the surface pattern of some serpentinite rocks, which resemble the skin of a...

Rocks under the microscope

The petrographic section of the website also has a number of novel features. It is divided into igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in a conventional way. Each rock is systematically discussed under the following headings: definition and classification, photomicrographs of the whole rock under the microscope, rock-forming minerals under the microscope (essential and non-essential minerals), and varieties.

Currently, the micROCKscopic website contain  more than 50 thin sections of the commoner igneous rocks (in plane polarized and cross polarized light).

To explore the thin section photomicrographs of the rocks, simply click/scroll the image to zoom in, double-click to zoom out, and click-drag to pan. For the full-screen, press spacebar of your keyboard.

Basalt thin sections under the microscope

Basalt thin section

Basalt is a fine-grained volcanic rock consisting predominantly of plagioclase (P), pyroxene, ± opaque minerals (magnetite, ilmenite). In addition, olivine or quartz (or both)...