Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Daniele L. Pinti
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1762-3



Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments. It is produced by sedimentary, magmatic, or tectonic processes. A sedimentary breccia is a coarse-grained (particle size >2 mm) rock composed of angular rock fragments held together by cement or dispersed in a fine-grained solidified matrix. It originates as a result of sedimentary processes such as talus accumulation (sedimentary breccia), disturbance during sedimentation (intraclastic breccia), or collapse of rocky surfaces such as the roof of a cave (collapse breccia). Magmatic breccia results from explosive eruptions (pyroclastic breccia), hydrovolcanic fragmentation in diatremes (funnel-shaped pipes), or mechanical fragmentation in intrusive settings. Tectonic processes such as frictional slip along a fault produce fault breccia. Breccia containing angular clasts and fine-grained matrix produced by meteoritic impact is a common rock on planetary surfaces. The anorthositebrecciaof the lunar highlands...


Explosive Eruption Tectonic Process Fault Produce Planetary Surface Meteoritic Impact 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and GeodynamicsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada