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Gneiss is a medium to high grade metamorphic rock which consists of elongated quartz and feldspar crystals. Under the influence of high pressure and temperature in the Earth's crust the rock was deformed. This caused the crystals to foliate, giving the gneiss its typical banding  appearance. Originally, a gneiss was often granite or sandstone before it was deformed by metamorphosis.

Biotite-rich gneiss. Erratic from Emmen. Photo: Tom Koops

Typical banded pattern in gneiss. Photo: Herman Zevenberg.

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