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{{short description|Non-foliated metamorphic rock commonly used for sculpture and as a building material}}{{pp|small=yes}} {{about|the rock|the toy|Marble (toy)|other uses|Marble (disambiguation)}}File:Marmo z17.JPG|thumb|right|Carrara marble quarry in ItalyItalyFile:Taj Mahal in March 2004.jpg|thumb|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.Kearey, Philip (2001). Dictionary of Geology, Penguin Group, London and New York, p. 163. {{ISBN|978-0-14-051494-0}} Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.


File:Car of history.jpg|thumb|upright|Carlo Franzoni's sculptural marble chariot clock, the Car of History, depicting Clio, the Greek musemuseFile:Marble wall of Ruskeala.jpg|thumb|left|Marble wall of Ruskeala. Republic of Karelia, RussiaRussiaThe word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek (),μάρμαρον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library from (), "crystalline rock, shining stone",μάρμαρος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital LibraryMarble, Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved on 2011-09-30. perhaps from the verb (), "to flash, sparkle, gleam";μαρμαίρω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library R. S. P. Beekes has suggested that a "Pre-Greek origin is probable".R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 907.File:Catedraldemarmol.JPG|thumb|left|Folded and weathered marble at General Carrera Lake, ChileChileThis stem is also the ancestor of the English word "marmoreal", meaning "marble-like."{{citation needed|date=July 2018}} While the English term "marble" resembles the French , most other European languages (with words like "marmoreal") more closely resemble the original Ancient Greek.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

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.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:{| class=wikitable! Marble !! Color!! Location!! Country
| Pentelic marblePentelic marble, Britannica Online Encyclopaedia. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.| 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
Georgia Marble Company>Murphy marble| whitePickens County, Georgia>Pickens and Gilmer County, Georgia Counties, Georgia (U.S. state)>Georgia| United States
| Nero Marquina marble| black
Markina-Xemein>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>Ruskeala marble| white| near Ruskeala (Рускеала), Karelia (Карелия)| Russia
Rușchița marbleHTTP://WWW.DIGI24.RO/STIRE/RAPORT-DE-TARA-DOMUL-DIN-MILANO-A-FOST-RECONSTRUIT-CU-MARMURA-DE-RUSCHITA_96970PUBLISHER=, | white, pinkish, reddish| Poiana Ruscă Mountains, Caraș-Severin County| Romania
Sivec>Bianco Sivec| whitePrilep (Прилеп), Pelagonia Statistical Region>Pelagonia (Пелагониски)| North Macedonia
| Swedish green marble| green| near Kolmården, Södermanland| Sweden
| Sylacauga marble| white| Talladega County, Alabama| United States
Vermont Marble Museum>Vermont marble| white| Proctor, Vermont| United States
Yule Marble>Yule marble| uniform pure white| near Marble, Colorado| United States
Wunsiedel Marble>Wunsiedel marble| white| Wunsiedel, Bavaria| Germany


File:AMI - Marmoramphora.jpg|thumb|Ritual amphora of veined marble from Zakros. New palace period (1500–1450 BC), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, CreteCreteFile:Farcot and Carrier-Belleuse Conical Mystery Clock.jpg|thumb|upright|An 1862 monumental conical pendulum clock by Eugène Farcot with a red griottegriotteFile:Romblon island 089col.jpg|thumb|Marble Products in Romblon, PhilippinesPhilippines


White marble has been prized for its use in sculpturesBOOK,weblink PROCEEDINGS 4th International Congress on “Science and Technology for the Safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean Basin” VOL. I, Angelo Ferrari, 9788896680315, en, 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.

Construction marble

Construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish.Marble Institute of America pp. 223 Glossary 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.NEWS,weblink Turkmenistan enters record books for having the most white marble buildings | World news,, 2013-05-26, 2013-11-24, London,


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%.Strategic positioning study of the marble branch. CEPI Brief N° 6.

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.Foja, A.F. (1993) Marble industry: its socioeconomic, environmental and health effects among marble worker/producer households in Romblon. Philippines University Thesis.

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.WEB, CDC – NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards – Marble,weblink, 2015-11-27,

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.JOURNAL, 16211855, Methylophaga murata sp. nov.: a haloalkaliphilic aerobic methylotroph from deteriorating marble, 2005, 74, Mikrobiologiia, Doronina NV, Li TsD, Ivanova EG, Trotsenko IuA., 4, 511–9, Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; black Cladosporium attacked dried acrylic resinJOURNAL, 17658586, Bacterial and fungal deterioration of the Milan Cathedral marble treated with protective synthetic resins, Science of the Total Environment, 2007, Cappitelli F, Principi P, Pedrazzani R, Toniolo L, Sorlini C, 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.06.022, 385, 1–3, 172–81, using melanin.JOURNAL, 17071788, Synthetic consolidants attacked by melanin-producing fungi: case study of the biodeterioration of Milan (Italy) cathedral marble treated with acrylics, Cappitelli F, Nosanchuk JD, Casadevall A, Toniolo L, Brusetti L, Florio S,, Principi P, Borin S, Sorlini C, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Jan 2007, 73, 1, 271–7, 10.1128/AEM.02220-06, 1797126,

Cultural associations

File:Jadwiga CP.jpg|thumb|right|Jadwiga of Poland's sarcophagus by Antoni Madeyski, Wawel Cathedral, CracowCracowFile:Detail of Sculptural Relief on the Marble Door of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.jpg|thumb|left|Relief on the Marble Door of the Hagia Sophia in IstanbulIstanbulAs 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

{{unreferenced section|date=July 2017}}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.


File:Nike of Samothrake Louvre Ma2369 n4.jpg |The Nike of Samothrace is made of Parian marble (c. 220–190 BC)File:Laocoon Pio-Clementino Inv1059-1064-1067.jpg |Laocoön and His Sons in the VaticanFile:Lens - Inauguration du Louvre-Lens le 4 décembre 2012, la Galerie du Temps, n° 058.JPG |The Praetorians Relief, made from grey veined marble, {{circa|51–52}} ADFile:Imgp7544.jpg |Ancient marble columns in the prayer hall of the Mosque of Uqba, in Kairouan, TunisiaFile:2004-07-14 1880x2820 chicago aon looking up.jpg |Aon Center in Chicago was the tallest structure clad in marble upon its completion. The marble however proved to be fragile, and the building was re-clad in a similarly-colored granite at an extreme financial cost.File:Cleopatra by William Wetmore Story 03.jpg|Cleopatra by William Wetmore Story was described and admired in Nathaniel Hawthorne's romance, The Marble Faun, and is on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.File:Planalto panorama.jpg |As with many of Brazil's government buildings in Brasília, the Palácio do Planalto, official workplace of the Brazilian President, is clad in marble.

See also



External links

{{Commons|Marble}}{{EB1911 Poster|Marble}} {{Stonemasonry}}{{Authority control}}

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