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Encyclopedia > Serpentine
Serpentine
Serpentine

Serpentine is a group of common rock-forming hydrous magnesium iron phyllosilicate ((Mg, Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4) minerals; it may contain minor amounts of other elements including chromium, manganese, cobalt and nickel. In mineralogy and gemology, serpentine may refer to any of 20 varieties belonging to the serpentine group. Owing to admixture, these varieties are not always easy to individualize, and distinctions are not usually made. There are three important mineral polymorphs of serpentine: antigorite, chrysotile and lizardite. The word serpentine may refer to: The serpentine shape, an object or design shaped like the letter S or like a snake The serpentine, a common mineral substance The serpentine belt, a type of drive belt used in mechanical devices The serpentine, an early type of cannon The serpentine, a... Serpentine. ... Serpentine. ... This prefix in chemical nomenclature indicates the presence of a hydroxyl functional group (-OH). ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... General Name, symbol, number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... The silicate minerals make up the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals. ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... General Name, symbol, number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance as coarse powder, dark grey with bluish tinge Standard atomic weight 28. ... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless (gas) very pale blue (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ... Hydroxide is a polyatomic ion consisting of oxygen and hydrogen: OH− It has a charge of −1. ... A mineral is a naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition, a highly ordered atomic structure and specific physical properties. ... General Name, symbol, number chromium, Cr, 24 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 6, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 51. ... General Name, symbol, number manganese, Mn, 25 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 7, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 54. ... For other uses, see Cobalt (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nickel (disambiguation). ... Mineralogy is an earth science that involves the chemistry, crystal structure, and physical (including optical) properties of minerals. ... Gemology (gemmology outside the United States) is the science, art and profession of identifying and evaluating gemstones. ... Polymorphism in materials science is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure. ... Antigorite is a monoclinic mineral from the kaolinite-serpentine group. ... Chrysotile Asbestos Chrysotile is an asbestiform sub-group within the serpentine group of minerals. ... Serpentine Serpentine is a group of common rock-forming hydrous magnesium iron phyllosilicate ((Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4) minerals. ...

Contents

Overview

"Their color and mottled scaly appearance is the basis of the name from the Latin serpentinus, meaning serpent rock," according to Best (2003). They have their origins in metamorphic alterations of peridotite and pyroxene. Serpentines may also pseudomorphously replace other magnesium silicates. Alterations may be incomplete, causing physical properties of serpentines to vary widely. Where they form a significant part of the land surface, the soil is unusually high in clay. Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ... Peridotite xenolith from San Carlos, southwestern United States. ... Figure 1:Mantle-peridotite xenolith with green peridot olivine and black pyroxene crystals from San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co. ... In geology, a pseudomorph is a mineral compound resulting from a substitution process in which the appearance and dimensions remain constant, but the mineral which makes up the chief component of the compound is replaced by another. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland Technically, soil forms the pedosphere: the interface between the lithosphere (rocky part of the planet) and the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. ... The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ...


Antigorite is the polymorph of serpentine that most commonly forms during metamorphism of wet ultramafic rocks and is stable at the highest temperatures -- to over 600°C at depths of 60 km or so. In contrast, lizardite and chrysotile typically form near the Earth's surface and break down at relatively low temperatures, probably well below 400°C. It has been suggested that chrysotile is never stable relative to either of the other two serpentine polymorphs. Polymorphism in materials science is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure. ...


Samples of the oceanic crust and uppermost mantle from ocean basins document that ultramafic rocks there commonly contain abundant serpentine. Antigorite contains water in its structure, about 13 percent by weight. Hence, antigorite may play an important role in the transport of water into the earth in subduction zones and in the subsequent release of water to create magmas in island arcs, and some of the water may be carried to yet greater depths. Ultramafic (or ultrabasic) rocks are igneous rocks with very low silica content (less than 45%), generally >18% MgO, high FeO, low potassium and are composed of usually greater than 90% mafic minerals (dark colored, high magnesium and iron content). ... The Juan de Fuca plate sinks below the North America plate at the Cascadia subduction zone. ... An island arc is a type of archipelago formed by plate tectonics as one oceanic tectonic plate subducts under another and produces magma. ...


Soils derived from serpentine are toxic to many plants, because of high levels of nickel, chromium, and cobalt; growth of many plants is also inhibited by low levels of potassium and phosphorus and low calcium/magnesium. The flora is generally very distinctive, with specialised, slow-growing species. Areas of serpentine-derived soil will show as strips of shrubland and open, scattered small trees (often conifers) within otherwise forested areas; these areas have been called "serpentine barrens". For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nickel (disambiguation). ... General Name, symbol, number chromium, Cr, 24 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 6, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 51. ... For other uses, see Cobalt (disambiguation). ... General Name, Symbol, Number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... General Name, Symbol, Number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... General Name, Symbol, Number calcium, Ca, 20 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 40. ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... In Botany a Flora (or Floræ) is a collective term for plant life and can also refer to a descriptive catalogue of the plants of any geographical area, geological period, etc. ... Serpentine soils are soils derived from the serpentine mineral, and other ultramafic rocks. ... Shrubland is a habitat type dominated by woody shrubs. ... The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... Orders & Families Cordaitales † Pinales   Pinaceae - Pine family   Araucariaceae - Araucaria family   Podocarpaceae - Yellow-wood family   Sciadopityaceae - Umbrella-pine family   Cupressaceae - Cypress family   Cephalotaxaceae - Plum-yew family   Taxaceae - Yew family Vojnovskyales † Voltziales † The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the... This article is about a community of trees. ...


Most serpentines are opaque to translucent, light (specific gravity between 2.2–2.9), soft (hardness 2.5–4), infusible and susceptible to acids. All are microcrystalline and massive in habit, never being found as single crystals. Luster may be vitreous, greasy or silky. Colours range from white to grey, yellow to green, and brown to black, and are often splotchy or veined. Many are intergrown with other minerals, such as calcite and dolomite. Occurrence is worldwide; New Caledonia, Canada (Quebec), USA (northern California), Afghanistan, Cornwall, China, France, Norway and Italy are notable localities. Relative density (also known as specific gravity) is a measure of the density of a material. ... Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer. ... Acidity redirects here. ... A microcrystalline material is a crystallized substance or rock which contains small crystals that are visible only through microscopic examination. ... In mineralogy, shape and size give rise to descriptive terms applied to the typical appearance, or habit of crystals. ... Quartz crystal Synthetic bismuth hopper crystal Insulin crystals Gallium, a metal that easily forms large single crystals A huge monocrystal of potassium dihydrogen phosphate grown from solution by Saint-Gobain for the megajoule laser of CEA. In chemistry and mineralogy, a crystal is a solid in which the constituent atoms... For the file system called Lustre, see Lustre (file system) Lustre (American English: luster) is a description of the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal, rock or mineral. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ... Dolomite crystals from Touissite, Morocco Dolomite is the name of both a carbonate rock and a mineral consisting of calcium magnesium carbonate (formula: CaMg(CO3)2) found in crystals. ... , Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Official languages French Government - Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duchesne - Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 75 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area  Ranked 2nd - Total 1,542,056 km² (595... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ...


Rock composed primarily of these minerals is called serpentinite. Serpentines find use in industry for a number of purposes, such as railway ballasts, building materials, and the asbestiform types find use as thermal and electrical insulation (chrysotile asbestos). The asbestos content can be released to the air when serpentine is excavated and if it is used as a road surface, forming a long term health hazard by breathing. Asbestos from serpentine can also appear at low levels in water supplies through normal weathering processes, but there is as yet no identified health hazard associated with use or ingestion. A sample of serpentinite rock, partially made up of chrysotile Serpentinite is a rock comprised of one or more serpentine minerals. ... For other uses, see Asbestos (disambiguation). ...


The more attractive and durable varieties (all of antigorite) are termed "noble" or "precious" serpentine and are used extensively as gems and in ornamental carvings. Often dyed, they may imitate jade. Misleading synonyms for this material include "Korean jade", "Suzhou jade", "Styrian jade", and "New jade". New Caledonian serpentine is particularly rich in nickel, and is the source of most of the world's nickel ore. A selection of gemstone pebbles made by tumbling rough rock with abrasive grit, in a rotating drum. ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ... For other uses, see Nickel (disambiguation). ...

Polished slab of bowenite serpentine, a variety of antigorite. Typical cloudy patches and veining are apparent.

The Māori of New Zealand once carved beautiful objects from local serpentine, which they called tangiwai, meaning "tears". Material quarried in Afghanistan, known as sang-i-yashm, has been used for generations. It is easily carved, taking a good polish, and is said to have a pleasingly greasy feel. Detail of a polished slab of bowenite serpentine, showing typical cloudy white patches and veining. ... This article is about the Māori people of New Zealand. ...


The lapis atracius of the Romans, now known as verde antique or verde antico, is a serpentinite breccia popular as a decorative facing stone. In classical times it was mined at Casambala, Thessaly, Greece. Serpentinite marbles are also widely used: Green Connemara marble (or Irish green marble) from Connemara, Ireland (and many other sources), and red Rosso di Levanto marble from Italy. Use is limited to indoor settings as serpentinites do not weather well. Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Breccia, derived from the Latin word for broken, is a sedimentary rock composed of angular fragments in a matrix that may be of a similar or a different material. ... Map showing Thessaly periphery in Greece Thessaly (Θεσσαλια; modern Greek Thessalía; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece, and is further sub-divided into 4 prefectures. ... Venus de Milo, front. ... Connemara (Irish Conamara), which derives from Conmhaicne Mara (meaning: descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea), is a district in the west of Ireland (County Galway). ... Weathering is the process of breaking down rocks, soils and their mineral through direct contact with the atmosphere. ...


Antigorite

Lamellated antigorite occurs in tough, pleated masses. It is usually dark green in colour, but may also be yellowish, gray, brown or black. It has a hardness of 3.5–4 and its lustre is greasy. The monoclinic crystals show micaceous cleavage and fuse with difficulty. Antigorite is named after its type locality, the Valle di Antigorio in Italy. Cleavage, in mineralogy, is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite planes, creating smooth surfaces, of which there are several named types: Basal cleavage: cleavage parallel to the base of a crystal, or to the plane of the lateral axes. ...


Two translucent varieties of antigorite, bowenite and williamsite, are prized by artisans and collectors for their ornamental value; these are the "precious serpentines". Polished slab of bowenite serpentine, a variety of antigorite. ...


Bowenite is an especially hard serpentine (5.5) of a light to dark apple green colour, often mottled with cloudy white patches and darker veining. It is the serpentine most frequently encountered in carving and jewellery. The name retinalite is sometimes applied to yellow bowenite. The New Zealand material is called tangawaite.


Although not an official species, bowenite is the state mineral of Rhode Island: this is also the variety's type locality. A bowenite cabochon featured as part of the "Our Mineral Heritage Brooch", was presented to First Lady Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson in 1967. “RI” redirects here. ... A cabochon or cabouchon is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to facetted. ... Claudia Alta Lady Bird Taylor Johnson (December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007)[1] was a First Lady of the United States, having been the wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. ...


Williamsite is oil-green with black crystals of chromite or magnetite often included. Somewhat resembling fine jade, williamsite is cut into cabochons and beads. It is found mainly in Maryland and Pennsylvania, USA. Chromite, iron magnesium chromium oxide: (Fe,Mg)Cr2O4, is an oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. ... // Headline text Magnetite is a ferrimagnetic mineral form of iron(II,III) oxide, with chemical formula Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides and a member of the spinel group. ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,407 sq mi (32,133 km²)  - Width 90 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N  - Longitude 75° 03′ W to 79° 29... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ...


Lizardite

Extremely fine-grained, scaly lizardite (also called orthoantigorite) comprises much of the serpentine present in serpentine marbles. It is triclinic, has one direction of perfect cleavage, and may be white, yellow or green. Lizardite is translucent, soft (hardness 2.5) and has an average specific gravity of 2.57. It can be pseudomorphous after enstatite, olivine or pyroxene, in which case the name bastite is sometimes applied. Bastite may have a silky lustre. The pyroxene silicate minerals enstatite (MgSiO3) and ferrosilite (FeSiO3) form a complete solid solution series and are common rock-forming minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and meteorites. ... The mineral olivine (also called chrysolite and, when gem-quality, peridot) is a magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. ... Figure 1:Mantle-peridotite xenolith with green peridot olivine and black pyroxene crystals from San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co. ...


Lizardite is named after its type locality: Lizard Point, Cornwall, UK. It is worked by local artisans into various trinkets which are sold to tourists. Lizard Point The Lizard is a peninsula of Cornwall, United Kingdom, and contains the most southerly point of the island Great Britain, Lizard Point. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ...


The California State Rock is Serpentine. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...


See also

Serpentine soils are soils derived from the serpentine mineral, and other ultramafic rocks. ... A sample of serpentinite rock, partially made up of chrysotile Serpentinite is a rock comprised of one or more serpentine minerals. ...

References

  • R. V. Dietrich - Gemrocks
  • Mineral description from Mineral galleries
  • Myron G. Best, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, 2nd edition. Blackwell Publishing (2003). ISBN 1-40510-588-7
  • Arthur R. Kruckeberg, Geology and Plant Life; The Effects of Landforms and Rock Types on Plants. University of Washington Press, Seattle (2002). ISBN 0-295-98452-X
  • Bernard W. Evans, The Serpentinite Multisystem Revisited: Chrysotile is Metastable. International Geology Review, v. 46, pages 479-506 (2004).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Serpentine Grasslands - Natural Communities - Wildlife & Heritage Service (2004 words)
Serpentine, or serpentinite, is a mineral producing dry, nutrient-poor soil deadly to plants not specially adapted to its unusual chemistry.
Serpentine grasslands are not as rich in species or as densely vegetated as many other Piedmont habitats.
Since the inhospitable serpentine soils were often the last areas to be forested, the serpentine grasslands were valued by settlers for livestock forage.
Serpentine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (953 words)
Serpentine is said to owe its name either to its serpent-like colours and patterns or from an old belief that the stones were effective protection from snake bites.
Soils derived from serpentine are toxic to many plants due to their high mineral content, and the flora is generally very distinctive, with specialised, slow-growing species.
Serpentines find use in industry for a number of purposes, such as railway ballasts, building materials, and the asbestiform types find use as thermal and electrical insulation (chrysotile asbestos).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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