Rhyolite is closely related to granite, but with finer crystals, too small to see by naked eye. This extrusive igneous rock cooled more rapidly than granite, giving it smaller crystals and glassy appearance. Minerals in rhyolite are quartz, feldspar, mica, and hornblende.
Southeast Missouri is one of North America’s oldest exposures of Precambrian bedrock. This remarkable geology is a 1.3 billion-year-old caldera—weathered, eroded, stubborn stump of an ancient super-volcano. The caldera’s central vertical “pipe” brought magma up from Earth’s mantle—red-hot, liquid matter from our planet's deep interior.
Rhyolite's rare plutonic geology is hard, dense, impenetrable rock, that has atoms packed in tight, orderly crystalline arrays, stacked and squeezed as close as they can be, interspersed with veins of metals. Optic and electric properties of crystals are used in jewels, lasers, cell phones, semiconductors, digital devices, and advanced materials. Orderly crystal geometry provides templates to organize patterns of cell, seed, shoot, and flower in plant growth.
Rhyolite's value in soil isn’t abundant Major Minerals. Rhyolite delivers a broad diversity of Trace Elements. Rather than one, or two, or a few elements, Rhyolite has a wide assortment of nearly all the elements needed by biology, including Transition Metals and Rare Earth Elements.
Rhyolite's extra dose of Trace Elements, density, paramagnetism, and Rare Earth Elements make it excellent to restore ancient, aged Midwest soils. Soils in much of south Midwest are very old, highly weathered, underlain by sedimentary bedrock: limestone, sandstone, shale. Without an Ice Age for glaciers to bring freshly ground rock, southern soils haven’t had a geology event to renew their minerals in millions of years. Primary elements in these over-worn, over-aged soils are used up, tied up, leached out, hauled off, low, and weak. Fundamental elemental ratios are out of balance. Keystone elements are missing or deficit.
In weathered, aged soils, Trace Elements are often the most critical. Small change in a Trace Element can have more profound effects on biology than large change in a Major Mineral. This is because Trace Elements are co-factor keys to shape, activate and power enzymes, metabolic cycles, hormones, and transmitters in cells and living organisms. Magma rocks such as Rhyolite have extra amounts of these heaviest, but least, of all elements.
Magma rock—its density, Trace & Rare Earth Elements, multiple valence electrons, mono-atomic states—boosts magnetic charge in soil to improve cell integrity and function. In sharp contrast, most south Midwest soils are formed from sedimentary bedrock with narrower trace elements and low paramagnetic charge. Rhyolite in a fine powder will quickly benefit these soils with their fresh supply of primary trace elements and dense paramagnetic charge.
~ David Yarrow, December 2015
Rhyolite Information Sheet