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Bach stones in Western Pomerania

A stone describes a compact object made of mineral or rock . Alemannic dialects and Bavarian dialects still use “stone” in old place and field names.


That is common. French MHG. , Ahd. Stone based as the slaw. Clan of carbon black. Stena "wall, a wall" in an educational to the IE. Root stāi- , STI "[is] densify clotting".

Stone and rock

In contrast to rocks , stones no longer have a firm connection to the rock unit to which they originally belonged, regardless of whether they are still in their original location (grown, adjacent rock) or not (dislocated).

earth sciences

The Geology and Petrology use as precise terms:

Special forms of stones are:

  • Reading stone , these are the stones of the ground (the pedosphere )
  • Talus , the scree or scree slope
  • Block heap , reading stones exposed by erosion as a landscape form
  • Debris , stones in the stream bed of the water, also in fossil, no longer moved sections, for example as a rock unit in a sediment sequence of a moraine
  • Moraine for the bed load as well as the deposits of a glacier
  • Erratic boulders are stones carried by glaciers, regardless of whether they are exposed or deep
  • Inclusion , stones that are solidified in other rock, such as conglomerate (round pieces) and breccia (angular), and xenolites
  • Gem (Gem), special stones, usually more or less pure minerals, rare rock: Here, the term stone generally a piece of a mineral, a single crystal or crystal agglomeration.
  • Geode , a stone that forms in the rock in cavities (and often still has cavities with crystals inside, the druse )
  • Oolite ( pea stone or roe stone ), a stone that is created by the formation of waves
  • Concretion , a stone created by precipitation ( sintering ), such as lawn iron stone or cave pearls
  • Boulder , a large stone in nature, with a diameter of up to a few meters

Rock is not only found on Earth , but also on the Moon , the three terrestrial planets and most asteroids . Stones have already been brought to earth from the moon ( moon rocks ). Other non-terrestrial rocks can be found as meteorites . In the solar system they also form the particles of the planetary rings . In the broadest sense, all celestial bodies that do not have any tectonics of their own are stones (including the moon, but not the earth with its hot, highly active core or the gas planets ).


A basic distinction is made in construction:

  • Round stone, round piece, if it has already been repelled in the bed load of the rivers, or by machine by rolling
  • Quarry stone that has broken out of the rock, whether natural or in the quarry
  • Broken minerals , artificially crushed stones

According to the size ( grading curve ) a distinction is made between:

  • Rock powder , stones under 0.063 mm
  • Sand less than 2 mm, as broken sand or round sand
  • Gravel (round stone) and quarry stone with grain sizes from 2 to 32 mm
  • Gravel , scree deposits or broken minerals with a grain size between 32 and 63 mm, round material of this size is called coarse gravel
  • Schroppen , material over 63 mm, rock decomposition up to the maximum transportable size

A distinction is made according to use:

Aggregate is the charge for concrete or asphalt with various grain sizes of gravel is for the subsequent rolling in asphalt.

There are also a number of specialist names for special formats for various purposes.

Some known stones

Hoodoos : Love Valley in Cappadocia near Göreme , Turkey - rock tower with capstone

See also



  • DIN 4022 Geotechnical calculations for structural purposes
  • DIN 18196 Earthworks and foundation engineering - Soil classification for structural purposes

Other stone formations

Marker stone on the Rax , Austria
Steinmanderl - Ammer


  • Wolfhard Wimmenauer: Petrography of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks . Stuttgart (Enke) 1985, ISBN 3-432-94671-6
  • Roland Vinx: Rock determination in the field . Munich (Elsevier) 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1513-6
  • Hans Murawski / Wilhelm Meyer: Geological dictionary . 11th edition, Munich (Spektrum-Akademischer Verlag) 2004, ISBN 3-8274-1445-8

Web links

Commons : Stones  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Stone  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Stein  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The dictionary of origin (=  Der Duden in twelve volumes . Volume 7 ). 5th edition. Dudenverlag, Berlin 2014 ( p. 816 ). See also DWDS ( "Stein" ) and Friedrich Kluge : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 7th edition. Trübner, Strasbourg 1910 ( p. 441 ).