Metamorphic construction

Metamorphic construction

Author’s Note: This part of a weekly series on geology for a class I am taking this semester at BYU-Idaho. This week’s prompt required students discuss the use of metamorphic rocks in construction. Other posts from this assignment can be found under the “Geology 111” category.

Marble floors found in Los Angeles’ Union Station. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I find marble counter tops to be awesome, but that’s not the only place you’ll find marble. It is also used on floors, as sidings on buildings such as the Taj Mahal in India and in other locations. Since I’m in the Los Angeles Basin, I thought it would be fitting to find a picture of marble in a structure somewhere within the metropolitan area.

Marble can be found in several places around the world and has been used in in sculptures for several millennia. In the United States, it can be found in Georgia, Colorado, Alabama, Vermont and many other places. The featured image for this post is actually from Russia.

Marble is created by metamorphic processes. When sedimentary rocks such as limestone find themselves deep within the earth, they are exposed to extreme amounts of heat and pressure. These can then be brought to the surface by tectonic processes, like those that cause mountains to uplift.

On larger structures such as high rises, marble is not typically used to clad buildings. Many years ago, a skyscraper was built in Chicago that was clad with marble. Since marble is rather fragile, it was determined that it needed to be re-clad in another material. Granite was chosen, and the process was very expensive.

Sorry this post isn’t so long, I’m in a hotel in Anaheim with a bad internet connection. Next week’s will be better!

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