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Definition of epiclast

Epiclasts are fragments in volcaniclastic rock and sediments that have not been generated by disruption as a direct result of volcanic action. They are defined, according to Schmid (1981), as ‘crystals, crystal fragments, glass and rock fragments that have been liberated from any type of pre-existing consolidated rock (volcanic or non-volcanic) by weathering or erosion and transported from the site of origin by gravity, air, water or ice’. Thus, epiclasts can be volcanic or non-volcanic, and they can be non-igneous.

SCHMID, R. 1981. Descriptive nomenclature and classification of pyroclastic deposits and fragments: Recommendations of the IUGS Subcommission on the Systematics of Igneous Rocks.
Geology, Vol. 9, 41–43


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