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How is pumice formed?

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Quick Answer

Pumice is an igneous rock formed by the rapid cooling and depressurization of volcanic magma with a high gas content. It is characterized by a large amount of vesicles formed from gas bubbles in the magma.

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Full Answer

Gases found in magma are highly pressurized and typically form liquid solutions. When the magma erupts, rapid depressurization causes the gases to vaporize and form a large amount of pockets in the frothy molten rock. The magma experiences rapid cooling and hardens, which causes the gas to become trapped in numerous vesicles, creating a highly porous igneous rock. These vesicles cause pumice to typically be extremely lightweight due to its low density.

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