rock varnish

rock varnish
   A thin, dark, shiny film or coating, composed of iron oxide accompanied by traces of manganese oxide and silica, formed on the surfaces of pebbles, boulders, and other rock fragments, commonly on rock outcrops in arid regions. It is believed to be caused by exudation of mineralized solutions from within and deposition by evaporation on the surface.

Glossary of landform and geologic terms. 2013.

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  • patina —    A general term for a colored film or thin outer layer produced on the surface of a rock or other material by weathering after long exposure.    Compare: rock varnish.    GG …   Glossary of landform and geologic terms

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