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soapstone (talc-rock)

soapstone (talc-rock)

SRI Petrography ID: 41

Names

[de] Speckstein
[en] soapstone (talc-rock)

Description

Soapstone is a grey to green, soft and typically “soapy” metamorphic rock composed mostly of the mineral talc (sometimes also called talc-schist).
Additionally it may contain chlorite, mica, tremolite, quartz, magnetite and iron oxides. Soapstone is very resistant to acids and heat. It can be easily scratched by iron nails and cut with a knife or sharp steel tool, so it is a very common material for sculptures.

Color

various, grey to green

Grain Size

Fine grained

Texture

schistose or massive

Minerals

talc as main mineral. Plus / minus chlorite, mica, tremolite, quartz, magnetite and iron oxides

Occurences

United States, Norway, Finland, Canada, Kenya

Comments

Soapstone is also called “steatite”
Geologically it is formed in areas where subduction of tectonic plates takes place by metasomatism and metamorphism.

Classification

Class

METAMORPHIC ROCKS

Broader Terms

igneous protolith

Narrower Terms

Austria-soapstone