1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eclogite

ECLOGITE (from Gr. ἐκλογή, a selection), in petrology, a typical member of a small group of metamorphic rocks of special interest on account of the variety of minerals they contain and their microscopic structures and geological relationships. Typically they consist of pale green or nearly colourless augite (omphacite), green hornblende and pink garnet. Quartz also is usually present in these rocks, but felspar is rare. The augite is mostly a variety of diopside and is only occasionally idiomorphic. The garnet sometimes forms good dodecahedra, but may occur as rounded grains, and encloses quartz, rutile, kyanite, and other minerals very frequently. The hornblende is usually pale green and feebly dichroic, but, in some eclogites which are allied to garnet-amphibolites, it is of dark brown colour. Among the commoner accessory minerals are kyanite (of blue or greyish-blue tints), rutile, biotite, epidote and zoisite, sphene, iron oxides, and pyrites. The rutile is invariably in small brown prisms; the kyanite forms bladed crystals, with perfect cleavage; felspar, if present, belongs to basic varieties rich in lime. Other minerals which have been found in eclogites are bronzite, olivine and glaucophane. The last mentioned is a bright blue variety of hornblende with striking pleochroism. The eclogites in their chemical composition show close affinities to gabbros; they often exhibit relationships in the field which show that they were primarily intrusive rocks of igneous origin, and occasionally contact alteration can be traced in the adjacent schists. Examples are known in Saxony, Bavaria, Carinthia, Austria, Norway. A few eclogites also occur in the north-west highlands of Scotland. Glaucophane-eclogites have been met with in Italy and the Pennine Alps. Specimens of rock allied to eclogite have been found in the diamantiferous peridotite breccias of South Africa (the so-called “blue ground”), and this has given rise to the theory that these are the parent masses from which the Kimberley diamonds have come.  (J. S. F.)