Sandstone

Sandstone (sometimes known as arenite) is a clastic rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.

Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth’s crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors are: tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, and black. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, certain colors of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.

Rock formations that are primarily composed of sandstone usually allow percolation of water and other fluids and are porous enough to store large quantities, making them valuable aquifers and petroleum reservois. Fine-grained aquifers, such as sandstones, are better able to filter out pollutants from the surface than are rocks with cracks and crevices, such as limestone or other rocks fractured by seismic activity.

Quartz-bearing sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts.