Most people know marble as a hard and beautifully multi-hued material that lines the countertops of kitchens and bathrooms across the county. In fact, marble is so perfect for this purpose that you can find wide varieties of marble countertops in Buckhead, GA. But where is marble found? Where does it come from? Is it "farmed" like pearls or is it mined like diamonds? Rarely will one go on a hike and happen across marble jutting out of the ground, so where is it hiding? How does this durable and attractive material that is so perfect for homes end up in warehouses for your purchase?
What Is Marble?
Before you know where marble is found, you should know exactly what marble is. Marble is a metamorphic rock, or a rock that is the result of natural changes. Unlike rocks you find at the surface of the earth, metamorphic rocks have drastically changed their chemical structure, appearance, and other qualities due to natural forces like extreme heat or pressure. In the case of marble, limestone underground that is subject to pressure from surrounding layers of rock and the heat under the surface of the earth will change into marble.
Once marble has formed, the substance that was formerly limestone will be composed of calcite (CaCO3), a precise blend of calcium, carbon, and oxygen. However, sometimes other minerals such as clay, quartz, and graphite will be caught in the metamorphic process and be contained within the marble. When metamorphism occurs, the calcite will recrystallize in an orderly, interlocking pattern, changing the appearance of the rock, its ability to reflect light, and its texture. Just as the chemical structure will become more orderly and visually pleasing, the resulting substance will be far more beautiful than its original form.
Where Is Marble Formed?
Marble can usually be found at areas known as convergent plate boundaries, or areas where large chunks of the planet's crust overlap each other, causing a disruption in the surface where one piece of the crust is pushed upward. The result of this is very hilly or mountainous terrain surrounded by flatter terrain. The Texas Hill County, a place where limestone and marble can be found, is an example of this type of geographical feature.
The reason that marble can be found in convergent plate boundaries is that the enormous pressure of the overlapping plates against one another stimulates the recrystallizing process. Depending on the area of the convergent plate boundary, the amount of limestone in the plates, and pure chance, the underground marble deposits can be up to several hundred feet think and span several miles. Areas with very high concentrations of marble can be mined on a large scale. Some quarries—marble mines—can produce millions of tons of marble every year!
What Is Marble Used For?
So to what uses are these millions of tons of marble put? First, it can be crushed into tiny fragments that are used in highways, foundations, and other construction materials. The marble fragments add durability and weather resistance to a building mixture. Dimension stone, or large pieces of marble that are cut into raw slabs, has many uses, most of which take advantage of marble's beauty. Art pieces like sculptures and architectural facades often contain marble—so frequently, in fact, that there is no need to even describe marble's appearance.
In addition, fortunate homeowners can install marble in their homes. It can be used as a flooring material and as countertops. Marble is resistant to heat and cold, durable enough to handle everyday use, water-resistant, and beautiful—all as the result of natural processes under the surface of the earth. Marble is naturally perfect for counters, which is why marble countertops in Buckhead, GA, are immensely popular and endlessly reliable. Perhaps you should consider adding this fascinating and beautiful substance to your bathroom, bar, and kitchen to take advantage of its natural perks.
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