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Pumice Rock Information

Priya Johnson Apr 23, 2019
Pumice rocks are igneous rocks formed by the sudden cooling of volcanic lava. Used in a variety of fields, this rock is inexpensive and easily available.
Often used as decorative landscape stones, pumice rocks are igneous rocks formed by the cooling of lava froth. When lava froth cools at a rapid rate, it forms pumice rocks with air pockets, that give them a sponge-like appearance.
This rock gets its name from the Latin word 'pumex', which means 'foam'. Today, over 50 countries produce pumice products, with Italy holding the title of the largest pumice producer in the world.

Basics about Pumice Rocks

Description

Mostly tan or light gray in color, pumice comes in a variety of colors such as white, black, reddish-black, etc. White pumice is more common than black pumice.
The lighter the pumice, the higher its silica content, and the darker it is, the lower will be its silica content. The tiny holes and fine lines seen in a pumice rock, can be attributed to the large number of air pockets present in the lava froth. It's this airiness that is responsible for its light weight nature.

Formation

When lava imbibed with a lot of gases gushes out of a spewing volcano and comes in contact with the surrounding air, it cools at a rapid rate. The solidified rock formed contains several holes.
With time, heat, and intense pressure, these rocks crumble down into smaller pieces and upon disintegration, they combine with other rocks in the soil to form metamorphic rocks like slate, gneiss, and schist.

Uses

Pumice rocks are found in museums, science laboratories, personal care products, construction materials, etc. Readily available across the globe, this light rock is used for a variety of purposes.
Construction Material: Since the ancient Roman era, pumice rocks have been used in the construction of buildings and other structures. Today, the construction field utilizes the most amount of pumice rocks, wherein they are used to make concrete and concrete blocks. Moreover, due to its affordability, it is also widely used as decorative landscaping rock.
Exfoliation Purpose: Pumice rocks are nature's gift to mankind. These rocks are natural exfoliants that are capable of scrubbing off the dead cells from our body's skin surface. Ground pumice is also added to several face scrubs and exfoliants.
Soaps and Abrasives: The word 'pumice' refers to large pumice stones, while its powdered form is called 'pumicite'. This ground version is used in abrasive cleaners, polishes, hand soaps, scrubs, etc. It is also added to the cleaning products meant for glass, metal, and plastic, because of the sheen it imparts.
Animal Transport: Huge rocks are often found floating in the ocean after massive volcanic eruptions, and are even found washed up on the shorelines. They often form a means of transport for animals on water.
These rocks are not only durable, but are also inexpensive. Moreover, they can be easily sanitized, thus, multiple people can use the same piece of stone, after thorough cleansing.