Skip to content


A type of sedimentary rock that consists mainly of sand-sized grains (arenaceous particles), typically composed of quartz or feldspar.

MinDat Arenite

Arenite is a geological term used to describe a type of sedimentary rock that is composed primarily of sand-sized particles. The term “arenite” is often used interchangeably with “sandstone,” although “sandstone” is the more commonly recognized term.

Key characteristics of arenite (sandstone) include:

  1. Grain Size: Arenite, or sandstone, is characterized by its dominant grain size, which consists of sand-sized particles. These particles typically have diameters between 0.0625 and 2 millimeters.
  2. Composition: The composition of arenite can vary based on the mineral content of the sand-sized particles. Quartz is a common mineral found in arenite, but feldspar, mica, and other mineral fragments can also be present.
  3. Color: The color of arenite can range from light to dark, depending on the minerals present. Quartz-rich sandstone tends to be light-colored, while iron-rich minerals can impart a reddish or brownish hue.
  4. Texture: Arenite (sandstone) can exhibit various textures, including coarse-grained, medium-grained, and fine-grained, depending on the size of the sand particles and the degree of sorting.
  5. Sedimentary Structures: Sandstone may contain various sedimentary structures, such as cross-bedding, ripple marks, and mud cracks, that provide clues about the environment in which the sediment was deposited.
  6. Depositional Environments: Arenite (sandstone) can form in a variety of depositional environments, including desert dunes, riverbeds, beaches, and shallow marine environments.
  7. Porosity and Permeability: The pores between the sand grains in arenite contribute to its porosity, which affects its ability to hold and transmit fluids like water or oil. Permeability refers to the ease with which fluids can move through the rock.
  8. Diagenesis: Over time, the process of diagenesis can lead to the compaction and cementation of arenite (sandstone) to form solid rock. The type of cement and the degree of compaction influence the rock’s properties.
  9. Uses: Sandstone has practical applications in construction and architecture due to its durability, ability to be cut and carved, and aesthetically pleasing appearance.