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.Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.
The word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον (mármaron), from μάρμαρος (mármaros), "crystalline rock, shining stone", perhaps from the verb μαρμαίρω (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam"; R. S. P. Beekes has suggested that a "Pre-Greek origin is probable".
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 ]
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.
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.
Examples of historically notable marble varieties and locations:
|Pentelic marble||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-grained||Island of Paros (Πάρος), South Aegean (Νοτίου Αιγαίου)||Greece|
|Carrara marble||white or blue-gray||Carrara, Tuscany||Italy|
|Ruskeala marble||white||near Ruskeala (Рускеала), Karelia (Карелия)||Russia|
|Rușchița marble||white, pinkish, reddish||Poiana Ruscă Mountains, Caraș-Severin County||Romania|
|Bianco Sivec||white||near Prilep (Прилеп), Pelagonia (Пелагониски)||North Macedonia|
|Swedish green marble||green||near Kolmården, Södermanland||Sweden|
|Sylacauga marble||white||Talladega County, Alabama||United States|
|Vermont marble||white||Proctor, Vermont||United States|
|Yule marble||uniform pure white||near Marble, Colorado||United States|
|Wunsiedel marble||white||Wunsiedel, Bavaria||Germany|
White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures [ citation needed ] resulting in the characteristic waxy look which brings a lifelike luster to marble sculptures of any kind, which is why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.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,
Construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish.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.
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%.
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.
In the 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.
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) :
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.
The haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin.Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; black Cladosporium attacked dried acrylic resin using melanin.
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.
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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.
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 old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.
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.
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".
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 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.
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.
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.
Wollastonite is a calcium inosilicate mineral (CaSiO3) that may contain small amounts of iron, magnesium, and manganese substituting for calcium. It is usually white. It forms when impure limestone or dolomite is subjected to high temperature and pressure, which sometimes occurs in the presence of silica-bearing fluids as in skarns or in contact with metamorphic rocks. Associated minerals include garnets, vesuvianite, diopside, tremolite, epidote, plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene and calcite. It is named after the English chemist and mineralogist William Hyde Wollaston (1766–1828).
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 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.
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).
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 metamorphosed 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 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.
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.
The Cloak of Conscience and Tolerance is a sculpture by Anna Chromý carved from a single block of white marble excavated from the Michelangelo Quarry in Carrara, Italy, where Michelangelo sourced his illustrious marble for his iconic David. Anna Chromy's creation represents her largest work of art since Chromy turned to sculpture from surrealist oil paintings in 1992. As a result of her work on Cloak, Chromy was the first woman to be awarded the Premio Michelangelo, the annual award for sculpture, in 2008.
Listwanite (also sometimes spelled listvenite, listvanite, or listwaenite) is an unusual rock type that forms when the groundmass of ultramafic rocks, most commonly mantle peridotites, is partially altered to carbonate minerals and cut by ubiquitous carbonate veins containing one or more of magnesite, calcite, dolomite, ankerite, and/or siderite. Original Pyroxene and olivine in the peridotite are commonly altered to Mg- or Ca-carbonate and hydrous Mg-silicates, such as serpentine and talc. Complete carbonation of peridotite means that every single atom of magnesium and calcium as well as some of the iron atoms have combined with CO2 to form secondary carbonate minerals such a magnesite, calcite, and siderite, while the remaining silica atoms, formerly found in pyroxene and olivine (prior to alteration), are found in quartz, serpentine, and talc. Thus, in terms of bulk mineralogy, listwanites consist primarily of quartz (often of a rusty red colour), carbonate, serpentine, talc, ± mariposite/fuchsite (i.e., Cr-muscovite) ± gold.
Mineral alteration refers to the various natural processes that alter a mineral's chemical composition or crystallography.
The geology of North Macedonia includes the study of rocks dating to the Precambrian and a wide-array of volcanic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks formed in the last 541 million years.
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