Marble

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Carrara marble quarry in Italy Marmo z17.JPG
Carrara marble quarry in Italy
The Taj Mahal is entirely clad in marble. Taj Mahal in March 2004.jpg
The Taj Mahal is entirely clad in marble.

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble is typically not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. [1] Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.

Metamorphic rock Rock which was subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical or chemical change

Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock types, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The original rock (protolith) is subjected to heat and pressure, causing profound physical or chemical change. The protolith may be a sedimentary, igneous, or existing metamorphic rock.

Carbonate minerals Nickel–Strunz 9 ed mineral class number 5

Carbonate minerals are those minerals containing the carbonate ion, CO32−.

Calcite carbonate mineral

Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The Mohs scale of mineral hardness, based on scratch hardness comparison, defines value 3 as "calcite".

Contents

Etymology

Carlo Franzoni's sculptural marble chariot clock, the Car of History, depicting Clio, the Greek muse of history. Car of history.jpg
Carlo Franzoni's sculptural marble chariot clock, the Car of History, depicting Clio, the Greek muse of history.
Marble wall of Ruskeala. Republic of Karelia, Russia Marble wall of Ruskeala.jpg
Marble wall of Ruskeala. Republic of Karelia, Russia

The word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον (mármaron), [2] from μάρμαρος (mármaros), "crystalline rock, shining stone", [3] [4] perhaps from the verb μαρμαίρω (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam"; [5] R. S. P. Beekes has suggested that a "Pre-Greek origin is probable". [6]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.

Robert Stephen Paul Beekes, latterly emeritus professor of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at Leiden University, was the author of many monographs on the Proto-Indo-European language.

Folded and weathered marble at General Carrera Lake, Chile Catedraldemarmol.JPG
Folded and weathered marble at General Carrera Lake, Chile

This stem is also the ancestor of the English word "marmoreal", meaning "marble-like."[ citation needed ] While the English term "marble" resembles the French marbre, most other European languages (with words like "marmoreal") more closely resemble the original Ancient Greek.[ citation needed ]

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Physical origins

Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals. Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock (protolith) have typically been modified or destroyed.

Metamorphism The change of minerals in pre-existing rocks without melting into liquid magma

Metamorphism is the change of minerals or geologic texture in pre-existing rocks (protoliths), without the protolith melting into liquid magma. The change occurs primarily due to heat, pressure, and the introduction of chemically active fluids. The chemical components and crystal structures of the minerals making up the rock may change even though the rock remains a solid. Changes at or just beneath Earth's surface due to weathering or diagenesis are not classified as metamorphism. Metamorphism typically occurs between diagenesis, and melting (~850°C).

Sedimentary rock Rock formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of material

Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of small particles and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth's surface. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock are called sediment, and may be composed of geological detritus (minerals) or biological detritus. Before being deposited, the geological detritus was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Biological detritus was formed by bodies and parts of dead aquatic organisms, as well as their fecal mass, suspended in water and slowly piling up on the floor of water bodies. Sedimentation may also occur as dissolved minerals precipitate from water solution.

Carbonate rock

Carbonate rocks are a class of sedimentary rocks composed primarily of carbonate minerals. The two major types are limestone, which is composed of calcite or aragonite (different crystal forms of CaCO3) and dolomite rock, also known as dolostone, which is composed of mineral dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2).

Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a very pure (silicate-poor) limestone or dolomite protolith. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally magnesium-rich limestone or dolomite with silica impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.

Silicate minerals Rock-forming minerals with predominantly silicate anions

Silicate minerals are rock-forming minerals made up of silicate groups. They are the largest and most important class of minerals and make up approximately 90 percent of the Earth's crust.

Vein (geology) sheetlike body within a rock

In geology, a vein is a distinct sheetlike body of crystallized minerals within a rock. Veins form when mineral constituents carried by an aqueous solution within the rock mass are deposited through precipitation. The hydraulic flow involved is usually due to hydrothermal circulation.

Clay A finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals

Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3, MgO etc.) and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.

Types

Examples of historically notable marble varieties and locations:

MarbleColorLocationCountry
Pentelic marble [7] pure-white, fine-grained semitranslucent Mount Pentelicus (Πεντελικό όρος), Attica (Ἀττική) Greece
Creole marble white and blue/black Pickens County, Georgia United States
Etowah marble pink, salmon, rose Pickens County, Georgia United States
Makrana marble white Makrana, Nagaur district, Rajasthan India
Murphy marble white Pickens and Gilmer Counties, Georgia United States
Nero Marquina marble black Markina, Spain Spain
Parian marble pure-white, fine-grainedIsland of Paros (Πάρος), South Aegean (Νοτίου Αιγαίου)Greece
Carrara marble white or blue-gray Carrara, Tuscany Italy
Ruskeala marble whitenear Ruskeala (Рускеала), Karelia (Карелия) Russia
Rușchița marble [8] white, pinkish, reddish Poiana Ruscă Mountains, Caraș-Severin County Romania
Bianco Sivec whitenear Prilep (Прилеп), Pelagonia (Пелагониски) North Macedonia
Swedish green marble greennear Kolmården, Södermanland Sweden
Sylacauga marble white Talladega County, Alabama United States
Vermont marble white Proctor, Vermont United States
Yule marble uniform pure whitenear Marble, Colorado United States
Wunsiedel marble white Wunsiedel, Bavaria Germany

Uses

Ritual amphora of veined marble from Zakros. New palace period (1500-1450 BC), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete. AMI - Marmoramphora.jpg
Ritual amphora of veined marble from Zakros. New palace period (1500–1450 BC), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.
An 1862 monumental conical pendulum clock by Eugene Farcot with a red griotte marble pedestal Farcot and Carrier-Belleuse Conical Mystery Clock.jpg
An 1862 monumental conical pendulum clock by Eugène Farcot with a red griotte marble pedestal
Marble Products in Romblon, Philippines. Romblon island 089col.jpg
Marble Products in Romblon, Philippines.

Sculpture

White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures [9] since classical times. This preference has to do with its softness, which made it easier to carve, relative isotropy and homogeneity, and a relative resistance to shattering. Also, the low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of any kind, which is why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.

Marble sculpture art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble

Marble sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble. Sculpture is among the oldest of the arts. Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone. From these beginnings, artifacts have evolved to their current complexity.

Classical antiquity Age of the ancient Greeks and Romans

Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.

Isotropy is uniformity in all orientations; it is derived from the Greek isos and tropos. Precise definitions depend on the subject area. Exceptions, or inequalities, are frequently indicated by the prefix an, hence anisotropy. Anisotropy is also used to describe situations where properties vary systematically, dependent on direction. Isotropic radiation has the same intensity regardless of the direction of measurement, and an isotropic field exerts the same action regardless of how the test particle is oriented.

Construction marble

Construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish. [10] More generally in construction, specifically the dimension stone trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock (and some non-calcitic rocks) useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble is really a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician limestone, that geologists call the Holston Formation.

Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, was recorded in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records as having the world's highest concentration of white marble buildings. [11]

Production

According to the United States Geological Survey, U.S. domestic marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at about $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production (for aggregate and industrial uses) in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. U.S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for (finished) Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile.

In 1998, marble production was dominated by 4 countries that accounted for almost half of world production of marble and decorative stone. Italy and China were the world leaders, each representing 16% of world production, while Spain and India produced 9% and 8%, respectively. Italy is the world leader in marble export, with 20% share in global marble production, followed by China with 16%, India with 10%, Spain with 6%, and Portugal with 5%. [12]

Occupational safety

Dust produced by cutting marble could cause lung disease but more research needs to be carried out on whether dust filters and other safety products reduce this risk. [13]

United States

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the legal limit (permissible exposure limit) for marble exposure in the workplace as 15 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 10 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. [14]

Degradation by acids

Acids damage marble, because the calcium carbonate in marble reacts with them, releasing carbon dioxide (technically speaking, carbonic acid, but that disintegrates quickly to CO2 and H2O) :

CaCO3(s) + 2H+(aq) → Ca2+(aq) + CO2(g) + H2O (l)

Thus, vinegar or other acidic solutions should never be used on marble. Likewise, outdoor marble statues, gravestones, or other marble structures are damaged by acid rain.

Microbial degradation

The haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin. [15] Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; black Cladosporium attacked dried acrylic resin [16] using melanin. [17]

Cultural associations

Jadwiga of Poland's sarcophagus by Antoni Madeyski, Wawel Cathedral, Cracow Jadwiga CP.jpg
Jadwiga of Poland's sarcophagus by Antoni Madeyski, Wawel Cathedral, Cracow
Relief on the Marble Door of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Detail of Sculptural Relief on the Marble Door of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.jpg
Relief on the Marble Door of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

As the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects (see classical sculpture), marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Its extremely varied and colorful patterns make it a favorite decorative material, and it is often imitated in background patterns for computer displays, etc.

Places named after the stone include Marblehead, Massachusetts; Marblehead, Ohio; Marble Arch, London; the Sea of Marmara; India's Marble Rocks; and the towns of Marble, Minnesota; Marble, Colorado; Marble Falls, Texas, and Marble Hill, Manhattan, New York. The Elgin Marbles are marble sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens that are on display in the British Museum. They were brought to Britain by the Earl of Elgin.

Artificial marble

Marble dust is combined with cement or synthetic resins to make reconstituted or cultured marble . The appearance of marble can be simulated with faux marbling, a painting technique that imitates the stone's color patterns.

See also

Related Research Articles

Alabaster Lightly colored, translucent, and soft calcium minerals, typically gypsum

Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft, often used for carving, and is processed for plaster powder. Archaeologists and the stone processing industry use the word differently from geologists. The former use is in a wider sense that includes varieties of two different minerals: the fine-grained massive type of gypsum and the fine-grained banded type of calcite. Geologists define alabaster only as the gypsum type. Chemically, gypsum is a hydrous sulfate of calcium, while calcite is a carbonate of calcium.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.

Dolomite (mineral) carbonate mineral - CaMg(CO₃)₂

Dolomite is an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate, ideally CaMg(CO3)2. The term is also used for a sedimentary carbonate rock composed mostly of the mineral dolomite. An alternative name sometimes used for the dolomitic rock type is dolostone.

Evaporite A water-soluble mineral sediment formed by evaporation from an aqueous solution

Evaporite is the term for a water-soluble mineral sediment that results from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. There are two types of evaporite deposits: marine, which can also be described as ocean deposits, and non-marine, which are found in standing bodies of water such as lakes. Evaporites are considered sedimentary rocks and are formed by chemical sediments.

Skarn Hard, coarse-grained, hydrothermally altered metamorphic rocks

Skarns or tactites are hard, coarse-grained metamorphic rocks that form by a process called metasomatism. Skarns tend to be rich in calcium-magnesium-iron-manganese-aluminium silicate minerals, which are also referred to as calc-silicate minerals. These minerals form as a result of alteration which occurs when hydrothermal fluids interact with a protolith of either igneous or sedimentary origin. In many cases, skarns are associated with the intrusion of a granitic pluton found in and around faults or Shear zones that intrude into a carbonate layer composed of either dolomite or limestone. Skarns can form by regional, or contact metamorphism and therefore form in relatively high temperature environments. The hydrothermal fluids associated with the metasomatic processes can originate from either magmatic, metamorphic, meteoric, marine, or even a mix of these. The resulting skarn may consist of a variety of different minerals which are highly dependent on the original composition of both the hydrothermal fluid and the original composition of the protolith.

Magnesite carbonate mineral

Magnesite is a mineral with the chemical formula MgCO3 (magnesium carbonate). Iron, manganese, cobalt and nickel may occur as admixtures, but only in small amounts.

Oolite Sedimentary rock formed from ooids

Oolite or oölite is a sedimentary rock formed from ooids, spherical grains composed of concentric layers. The name derives from the Ancient Greek word ᾠόν for egg. Strictly, oolites consist of ooids of 0.25–2 millimetres' diameter; rocks composed of ooids larger than 2 mm are called pisolites. The term oolith can refer to oolite or individual ooids.

Dolomite (rock) Sedimentary carbonate rock that contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite

Dolomite (also known as dolostone, dolomite rock or dolomitic rock) is a sedimentary carbonate rock that contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In old USGS publications, it was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones. Dolomite has a stoichiometric ratio of nearly equal amounts of magnesium and calcium. Most dolomites formed as a magnesium replacement of limestone or lime mud before lithification. Dolomite is resistant to erosion and can either contain bedded layers or be unbedded. It is less soluble than limestone in weakly acidic groundwater, but it can still develop solution features (karst) over time. Dolomite can act as an oil and natural gas reservoir.

Tremolite Amphibole, double chain inosilicate mineral

Tremolite is a member of the amphibole group of silicate minerals with composition: ☐Ca2(Mg5.0-4.5Fe2+0.0-0.5)Si8O22(OH)2. Tremolite forms by metamorphism of sediments rich in dolomite and quartz. Tremolite forms a series with actinolite and ferro-actinolite. Pure magnesium tremolite is creamy white, but the color grades to dark green with increasing iron content. It has a hardness on Mohs scale of 5 to 6. Nephrite, one of the two minerals of the gemstone jade, is a green variety of tremolite.

Metasomatism The chemical alteration of a rock by hydrothermal and other fluids

Metasomatism is the chemical alteration of a rock by hydrothermal and other fluids. It is the replacement of one rock by another of different mineralogical and chemical composition. The minerals which compose the rocks are dissolved and new mineral formations are deposited in their place. Dissolution and deposition occur simultaneously and the rock remains solid.

Blueschist A metavolcanic rock that forms by the metamorphism of basalt and rocks with similar composition

Blueschist, also called glaucophane schist, is a metavolcanic rock that forms by the metamorphism of basalt and rocks with similar composition at high pressures and low temperatures, approximately corresponding to a depth of 15 to 30 kilometers. The blue color of the rock comes from the presence of the predominant minerals glaucophane and lawsonite.

Dimension stone Natural stone that has been finished to specific sizes and shapes

Dimension stone is natural stone or rock that has been selected and finished to specific sizes or shapes. Color, texture and pattern, and surface finish of the stone are also normal requirements. Another important selection criterion is durability: the time measure of the ability of dimension stone to endure and to maintain its essential and distinctive characteristics of strength, resistance to decay, and appearance.

Talc carbonates are a suite of rock and mineral compositions found in metamorphic ultramafic rocks.

Neomorphism refers to the wet metamorphic process in which diagenetic alterations systematically transform minerals into either polymorphs or crystalline structures that are structurally identical to the rock(s) from which they developed.

Crushed stone form of construction aggregate

Crushed stone or angular rock is a form of construction aggregate, typically produced by mining a suitable rock deposit and breaking the removed rock down to the desired size using crushers. It is distinct from gravel which is produced by natural processes of weathering and erosion, and typically has a more rounded shape.

Metamorphic facies

A metamorphic facies is a set of mineral assemblages in metamorphic rocks formed under similar pressures and temperatures. The assemblage is typical of what is formed in conditions corresponding to an area on the two dimensional graph of temperature vs. pressure. Rocks which contain certain minerals can therefore be linked to certain tectonic settings, times and places in the geological history of the area. The boundaries between facies are wide because they are gradational and approximate. The area on the graph corresponding to rock formation at the lowest values of temperature and pressure is the range of formation of sedimentary rocks, as opposed to metamorphic rocks, in a process called diagenesis.

Mining in Austria

Mining in Austria is an industry on the decline.

References

  1. Kearey, Philip (2001). Dictionary of Geology, Penguin Group, London and New York, p. 163. ISBN   978-0-14-051494-0
  2. μάρμαρον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. μάρμαρος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. Marble, Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Askoxford.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
  5. μαρμαίρω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  6. R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 907.
  7. Pentelic marble, Britannica Online Encyclopaedia. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
  8. "RAPORT DE ȚARĂ. Domul din Milano a fost reconstruit cu marmură de Rușchița".
  9. PROCEEDINGS 4th International Congress on “Science and Technology for the Safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean Basin” VOL. I. Angelo Ferrari. ISBN   9788896680315.
  10. Marble Institute of America pp. 223 Glossary
  11. "Turkmenistan enters record books for having the most white marble buildings | World news". theguardian.com. London. 2013-05-26. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  12. Strategic positioning study of the marble branch. CEPI Brief N° 6. tunisianindustry.nat.tn
  13. Foja, A.F. (1993) Marble industry: its socioeconomic, environmental and health effects among marble worker/producer households in Romblon. Philippines University Thesis. fao.org
  14. "CDC – NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards – Marble". www.cdc.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  15. Doronina NV; Li TsD; Ivanova EG; Trotsenko IuA. (2005). "Methylophaga murata sp. nov.: a haloalkaliphilic aerobic methylotroph from deteriorating marble". Mikrobiologiia. 74 (4): 511–9. PMID   16211855.
  16. Cappitelli F; Principi P; Pedrazzani R; Toniolo L; Sorlini C (2007). "Bacterial and fungal deterioration of the Milan Cathedral marble treated with protective synthetic resins". Science of the Total Environment. 385 (1–3): 172–81. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.06.022. PMID   17658586.
  17. Cappitelli F; Nosanchuk JD; Casadevall A; Toniolo L; Brusetti L; Florio S,; Principi P; Borin S; Sorlini C (Jan 2007). "Synthetic consolidants attacked by melanin-producing fungi: case study of the biodeterioration of Milan (Italy) cathedral marble treated with acrylics". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 73 (1): 271–7. doi:10.1128/AEM.02220-06. PMC   1797126 . PMID   17071788.