Fifty years ago, Prof. Ernst Niggli pointed out a need for broad-based order and uniformity in rock nomenclature. His suggestion led to the creation of a IUGS project, which in 1968 morphed into the Subcommission on the Systematics of Igneous Rocks. Two decades later, under the able stewardship of the late Prof. Albert Streckeisen, the Subcommission issued its final report: A Classification of Igneous Rocks and Glossary of Terms. An updated edition was published in 2002 (ISBN 0–521–66215–X).

The “Streckeisen classification”, as this work has come to be known, is broadly accepted by the geological community and is in general...

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