Meaning of xenolith in English:


Pronunciation /ˈzɛnə(ʊ)lɪθ/


  • A piece of rock within an igneous mass which is not derived from the original magma but has been introduced from elsewhere, especially the surrounding country rock.

    ‘However, rare xenoliths of sedimentary rocks occur in the granite.’
    • ‘The granite contains abundant xenoliths of the country rock.’
    • ‘If the magma has risen quickly from the source region of the volcano, the xenoliths may represent country rock from all levels of the crust through which it has travelled.’
    • ‘Partial melting models, isotopic studies and the petrology of entrained ultramafic xenoliths suggest that many basanitic magmas are sourced in the asthenosphere.’
    • ‘The basalt, inferred to be of Miocene age, appears to be an alkali basalt that contains xenoliths of ultramafic rocks (peridotite and pyroxenite) up to a few centimeters in size.’