Andesite is an extrusive igneous rock that falls within the intermediate category, situated between felsic and mafic rocks in terms of silica content. Its class is intermediate, with its name derived from the Andes Mountains, where it is abundant. The rock exhibits a fine-grained or aphanitic texture, and its color varies from light to medium gray. Andesite is commonly found in volcanic arcs and mountain ranges, often used in construction and decorative stonework due to its appealing appearance and durability.

Mineral Makeup

The primary minerals found in andesite are plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, and, occasionally, amphibole and biotite. Plagioclase feldspar appears as elongated, white to gray crystals, while pyroxene exhibits dark-colored, needle-like crystals. Amphibole and biotite, when present, contribute to the rock’s darker color and can be found as small, plate-like crystals.


Andesite forms when intermediate to felsic magma erupts onto the Earth’s surface and cools rapidly, resulting in a fine-grained texture. The magma’s intermediate composition, including a silica content of approximately 52-63%, contributes to its characteristic appearance and properties. Andesite is commonly associated with convergent plate boundaries, where the subduction of oceanic crust beneath continental crust leads to the formation of volcanic arcs.


Andesite is predominantly found in areas with volcanic activity related to subduction zones, such as the Andes Mountains in South America, the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and the Japanese archipelago. The rock can also be found in volcanic arcs and mountain ranges across the globe, from Indonesia and the Philippines to the Mediterranean and New Zealand.


Andesite is believed to possess metaphysical properties that promote balance, clarity, and insight. It is thought to help individuals navigate through change and transition while maintaining a sense of inner equilibrium. Andesite is also said to enhance mental clarity and problem-solving abilities, providing a fresh perspective during times of uncertainty or indecision.

ClassIgneous (Extrusive) 
Mineral MakeupPrimarily plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene, with possible amphibole, biotite 
LusterVitreous to dull
Hardness (Mohs)6-7
StreakWhite or colorless
ColorLight to medium gray 
CleavagePoor to good
Specific Gravity2.5 to 2.8