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serpentinite

serpentinite

SRI Petrography ID: 42

serpentinite
Gastein, Austria

Serpentine
Granito bianco verde orientale

Dekorgestein und Baugesteinsammlung
NHM-Inv.-No.: G7369
SRI-No.: 185-42

Serpentine
Verde Plasma

Dekorgestein und Baugesteinsammlung
NHM-Inv.-No.: G7373
SRI-No.: 186-42

Serpentine
Granito verde orientale

Dekorgestein und Baugesteinsammlung
NHM-Inv.-No.: G7368
SRI-No.: 187-42

Ophicalzite
Serpentine

Dekorgestein und Baugesteinsammlung
Area of usage: ancient Rome
NHM-Inv.-No.: F2260
SRI-No.: 198-42

Names

[de] Serpentinit
[en] serpentinite

Description

Serpentinite is composed dominantly of the serpentine minerals antigorite, litardite and chrysotile. It is green to dark green coloured. It is usually formed by alteration of ultramafic rocks, such as dunites and peridotites by a process called “serpentinization”.
Serpentinites can be distinguished by their dominant serpentine mineral in the rock. The most common varieties are:
- antigorite-serpentinite
- chrysotile-serpentinite
- lizardite-serpentinite
Lizardite-serpentinite are characterized by pseudomorphic replacement of the original minerals olivine, pyroxene, amphibole and talc by the serpentine mineral lizardite (and sometimes magnetite or brucite). This serpentinite can be found in retrograde terrain.
Also Antigorite-serpentinites can be found in retrograde terrains similar to lizardite-serpentinite, but have been formed at higher temperature.
Chrysotile-serpentinites usually occur only in chrysotile asbestos deposits.

Color

mostly green to dark green, sometimes redbrown to brown or black

Grain Size

Usually very fine grained

Texture

variable, sometimes also brecciated

Minerals

serpentine minerals like chrysotile, antigorite, lizardite,.., calcite, magnesite, hematite, garnet

Occurences

Serpentinites can be found worldwide, particularly in greenstone belts, mountain chains and mid-ocean ridges, formed through the serpentinization of ultramafic rocks.
E.g. California, Penninic Units (Austria, Switzerland, Italy), Greece, Turkey

Classification

Class

METAMORPHIC ROCKS

Broader Terms

igneous protolith

Narrower Terms

Austria-serpentinite

Egypt-serpentinite

Germany-serpentinite

Greece-serpentinite

Ireland-serpentinite

Italy-serpentinite

Turkey-serpentinite

USA-serpentinite