Where do diorites form



   Diorite is a deep rock ("plutonite") of dark to black, rarely also medium to light gray color. Diorites are never colored.

Diorite consists of a crystalline-granular mixture of plagioclase (feldspar), hornblende (amphibole group) and a little chlorite and, in varieties, quartz (Quartz diorite). If the horn cover is replaced by the dark magnesia glimmer, one speaks of Mica diorite.

The diorite forms corridors and sticks in the mountain, mostly in stages from the Archean and the Paleozoic. Occurrences in Europe can be found in Ruhla, Brotterode, on the Rosstrappe, on Kyffhäuser, in the Odenwald, in the Bavarian Forest and in Bohemia, in Normandy and in Brittany.

Dark diorites were formerly used as tombstones in the 50s and 60s of the last century and are now used in road construction.

Type of natural stone

Fürstensteiner Diorit (Bavarian Forest)

See also:List of rocks


Special feature: diorite as a research reactor

Diorit was also the name of a research reactor of the Federal Institute for Reactor Research (EIR) in Würenlingen (Switzerland)

This nuclear reactor was operated by the EIR from 1960 to 1977. It had a moderator made of heavy water and was cooled with carbon dioxide. Heavy water (deuterium) had a particularly good neutron economy, which in turn is particularly suitable for the production of good quality weapons plutonium. Although the diorite was in fact used for civil research purposes, it was never diverted from weapons plutonium. As the historian Jürg Stüssi-Lauterburg recently pointed out in a study of the minutes of meetings that had previously been classified as secret, the Swiss military felt entitled to see Switzerland as a nuclear "threshold power" status during the Cold War because of the diorite.

In 1967 the diorite produced a melted fuel element that radiated the reactor hall. Significantly increased radioactivity releases into the Aare were also registered.

Category: Plutonite