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White Carrara Marble (Apuan Marble Formation, Tertiary metamorphism of Jurassic limestones; Carbonera Quarry, Tuscany, Italy) | by James St. John
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White Carrara Marble (Apuan Marble Formation, Tertiary metamorphism of Jurassic limestones; Carbonera Quarry, Tuscany, Italy)

White Carrara Marble - a finely-crystalline white marble with grayish wisps and mottling. This rock comes from the Apuan Marble Formation, the result of Tertiary metamorphism of lowermost Jurassic limestones. The unit is exposed in the Apuan Alps of northern Italy. White Carrara Marble was used to make Michelangelo’s world-famous statue of David. This sample comes from the Carbonera Quarry in Massa-Carrara Province, far-northwestern Tuscany, northern Italy.

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In the commercial decorative stone trade, “marble” is used to refer to a wide variety of relatively soft rocks (H = 3 to 5) that will take a fine polish. These include true marbles and rocks that aren’t marbles, such as limestones, tectonic breccias, and serpentinites.

 

The true marbles are calcitic, crystalline-textured metamorphic rocks. They form by intermediate- to high-grade metamorphism of limestones. They have been used for millennia as building and monument stones (e.g., ancient Greek & Roman archaeological sites and Michelangelo’s sculptures).

 

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Taken on August 1, 2014