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why is serpentine the california state rock

Serpentinite is a metamorphic rock that is mostly composed of serpentine group minerals. Serpentinite is a metamorphic rock that is mostly composed of serpentine group minerals. These are igneous rocks that are composed of olivine and pyroxene (peridotite, pyroxenite).Serpentine group minerals occur less commonly in some olivine-bearing marbles … Because serpentine makes poor soil, few plants can grow on it; therefore there is little to obscure this showy … Serpentinite is brought to … Why? Serpentine is closely associated with gold deposits in the foothills, with the California Gold Rush, and California’s history. It is an appropriate state symbol. Supporters of this bill argue that having a rock with an association with harmful derivative materials is inappropriate for a state symbol. This interesting matrix of various rock types and large amounts of serpentine soil in the area also leads to unique ecosystems that rely on the properties of the California state rock. However, the connection between the mining process and harmful effects were discovered thereafter and asbestos mining was banned in California in the 1970s. Learn why we shouldn't in this series of posts on a beautiful rock . Serpentine rock is primarily composed of one or more of the three magnesium silicate minerals, "lizardite," "chrysotile," and "antigorite." Serpentine group minerals antigorite, lizardite, and chrysotile are produced by the hydrous alteration of ultramafic rocks. Endemics make up about 10% of the CFP vascular plant endemics yet serpentine soils in California comprise < 1% of the state's surface. It is the state rock of California, USA and the California Legislature specified that serpentine was "the official State Rock and lithologic emblem." Serpentine is a shiny green and blue rock found throughout California. Serpentine is a [specify] In California, 10% of the state's plants are serpentine endemics. Senate Bill 624 would remove serpentine as the state rock of California, and furthermore would declare the rock to be dangerous to the health of state residents. What’s important is that the proposal deserves a fair and open debate. This assertion is, to say the least, not quite accurate. Serpentine contains the deadly mineral chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of the cancer mesothelioma. This resulted in serpentine being named the official California state rock in 1965, with native gold taking the title of official state mineral. Serpentine and Its Plant Life in California Ffirst, a multiple definition: Serpentine vegetation grows on serpentine soils that weather from serpentine (serpentinite) rock that contains serpentine minerals (chrysolite, antigorite, lizardite, etc.). In 2010, a bill was introduced which would have removed serpentine's special status as state rock due to it potentially containing chrysotile asbestos. California should not designate a rock known to be toxic to the health of its residents as the state's official rock." It contains the state's principal deposits of chromite, magnesite, and cinnabar. This is an important distinction. It is the state rock of California, USA and the California Legislature specified that serpentine was "the official State Rock and lithologic emblem." It is serpentine rock. – is a rare rock type whose source is the mantle of the earth, dozens of miles below the surface. Few plants can tolerate the chemical conditions in these soils, so many endemic plants grow there and nowhere else (the poppy is an obvious exception; it is classed as serpentine-tolerant plant, but grows in many environments). Serpentine minerals are made of tiny sheets of silica tetrahedrons that are loosely held together. Serpentine group; Serpentine soil, a soil derived from the serpentine mineral Schikorr reaction, involving also the formation of magnetite and hydrogen by a very similar mechanism • Serpentinite has a unique association with California for many reasons including: its association with gold deposits and the resulting California Gold Rush history, many plants unique to California grow on serpentinite-rich soils, the fact that serpentinite is thought to promote slow (and less hazardous) ‘creep’ along faults, and others. Serpentine is formed when rocks deep in the earth's interior come into contact with water, heat, and pressure. Serpentinite is California’s State Rock. Serpentinite is a unique and beautiful rock that’s rare in most of the world. Serpentine is a shiny green and blue rock found throughout California. Serpentine is closely associated with gold deposits in the foothills, with the California Gold Rush, and California’s history. Serpentine is a very common mineral, and is found in abundance worldwide. It has a distinctive greenish-gray to bluish-black color and may have a waxy Figure 1. It can be found in … Serpentine rock with veins of NOA. Serpentine, California's state rock, is relatively rare in the rest of the world. •    Varieties of asbestos from a completely separate group of minerals, called the amphibole group, are considered to be the most dangerous form. In California, however, it is found in abundance. •    There is no such mineral as “chrysotile asbestos”; there is a mineral “chrysotile” that crystallizes into a fibrous material referred to as asbestos but not all varieties of serpentinite contain it. position at the convergence of two tectonic plates and the stresses resulting from that meeting. The asbestos in serpentine is mostly the less-harmful form, chrysotile, rather than the more dangerous form - amphibole. California designated serpentine the official state rock in 1965 (California was the first state to designate a state rock). For one, asbestos is not a mineral - neither is serpentine (thus its place as "state rock"). Serpentine is a metamorphic rock that forms underneath the ocean, where it is squeezed by colliding continental plates and forced upward. Serpentinite from the Klamath Mountains, California (sample courtesy of Hannah Scherer; photo from Brian Romans). Some of the mainstream reporting about this bill has failed to communicate that exposure to the rock serpentinite is distinct from exposure to the powdered form of a component mineral that might be in the rock. It’s almost a perfect choice for our state rock except that it is not found in Southern California. The state rock of California is the serpentine, and it was officially designated in 1965. The wording of the bill is such that it’s not surprising there is some confusion and misunderstanding. The latter forms by different geologic processes from a variety of rock-types; California designated serpentine the official state rock in 1965 (California was the first state to designate a state rock). Chrysotile asbestos is sometimes found in … Having serpentine as California's State Rock calls attention to these issues in many places; and provides a "teaching moment." Serpentine, common in California and rare elsewhere, was designated as our state rock in 1965. The appropriate generalized formula is thus •    The term “asbestos” does not have a unique mineralogical association; it is derived from the term that describes the fibrous nature. Why? (According to the bill, California was the first state, in 1965, to name an official rock.) Sorry, time’s up. Recently, Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society hosted a field trip into the mountains with geologist Susie Bartz and naturalist Liz Gaspar. Serpentine, the California state rock, is a metamorphic rock that is made up of the mineral Serpentenite (if this is confusing, just call both the mineral and the rock Serpentine--many geologists do). One of the more interesting bits of history I’ve learned following this story is that the original 1965 proclamation of serpentinite as the state rock was motivated by a desire to highlight its economic and commercial importance as a source of mined asbestos. The state contains over 1,988 square miles (3,200 sq. California Senate Bill SB 624 is intended to strike off serpentine as the state rock, claiming. Serpentinite is a unique and beautiful rock that’s rare in most of the world. Serpentine: California State Rock Earth & Space Science , ESS2: Earth's Systems , ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems This California Geological Survey bulletin describes the state rock, serpentine. It can be found throughout California’s mountain ranges, especially the Klamath Mountains, the Coastal Range, and the Sierra Nevadas. The serpentine is a dark-colored rock with industrial uses as well as decorative uses that can take on the appearance of jade when dyed. As one blogger put it, the only way a piece of serpentinite might be harmful is if someone hurled a piece at you. Serpentinites and Serpentine Formation. As fits our state rock, it is brought to the surface by faulting and is known as a "regional metamorphic" -- a rock that requires large-scale faulting such … Serpentine rock with veins of NOA. California was the first state to designate an official state rock, Serpentine in 1965. If the state assembly feels that spending the time and resources to do that isn’t in California’s best interests at this time, then simply table the bill and deal with it at a later date. While we are all entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts. All State Rocks. Serpentine minerals form where peridotite, dunite, and other ultramafic rocks undergo hydrothermal metamorphism.Ultramafic rocks are rare at Earth's surface but are abundant at the oceanic moho, the boundary between the base of the oceanic crust and the upper mantle.. The term “serpentinite” is the proper term for the rock that is mostly made up of one or more of the serpentine group minerals. km) of serpentinite outcrops, and it is present in 42 of the 58 counties. Serpentine group minerals antigorite, lizardite, and chrysotile are produced by the hydrous alteration of ultramafic rocks. The final point I’ll make about this issue, which is something many other geologists have made as well, is that what’s most important here isn’t to maintain serpentinite as the state rock at all costs. The ratios in the Klamaths are even more lopsided as serpentine covers about 14% of its land area, perhaps the most of any bioregion in the world. And now, someone is hijacking the state designation for reasons I find suspicious. California's nickname is the Golden State. See also Edit. Serpentine isn’t a single type of rock, but rather a suite of minerals, often called the serpentine subgroup. If organizations really are concerned about educating the public about asbestos and mesothelioma, why make the state rock go away? Serpentine is an interesting and valuable rock that has an important role in education about California history, geology, biology, and environmental science. Learn about the geology and ecology of serpentine areas in the northern Sierra Nevada. •    The health danger of asbestos is when people breathe the powdered form into their lungs — and not just once or twice, but chronically over many years. The primary reason, as stated in the bill, is because “serpentine contains the deadly mineral chyrsotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of cancer mesothelioma.” Supporters of the bill include cancer awareness groups and other groups representing those dealing with mesothelioma. Serpentine barrens are a unique ecoregion found in parts of the United States in small but widely distributed areas of the Appalachian Mountains and the Coast Ranges of California, Oregon, and Washington. I am writing to offer some perspective on Senate Bill 624 and the current debate about removing serpentine as the California State Rock. km) of serpentinite outcrops, and it is present in 42 of the 58 counties. Here in California, however, we have North America’s largest exposures and we’ve made it our official state rock. California also designated gold as the state mineral in 1965. California has a greater number of minerals and a wider variety of rock types than does any other state. The recognition and study of serpentinite in California contributed to the understanding of modern plate tectonic theory. It contains the state's principal deposits of chromite, magnesite, and cinnabar. Learn the Facts About Serpentinite Before It's Removed as California's State Rock, bill introduced by California State Senator Gloria Romero. Serpentinite rocks are almost exclusively made of serpentine minerals. Much of the information presented in this post comes from the educating and advocacy about this issue by geoscience educator Garry Hayes at his blog Geotripper, Bay Area science writer Andrew Alden at geology.about.com, and environmental historian Jon Christensen from the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. Is, to say the least, not quite accurate the least, not quite accurate magnesite and. 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Mountain Ranges, the official state mineral is native gold taking the title of official state rock serpentine! Opinions, we have North America ’ s largest exposures and we ’ ve made it our official rock... The Enterprise Although the state gemstone in 1985 recognition and study of serpentinite in,... Coming up now fair and open debate and asbestos mining was banned in California state! California a state stresses resulting from that meeting Mountains with geologist Susie Bartz and naturalist Liz.... On Senate bill 624 and the current debate about removing serpentine as the California gold Rush, and.! The asbestos in serpentine being named the official state rock, claiming blue rock found California... A `` teaching moment. to … serpentine is mostly composed of serpentine areas in the foothills, with California. It ’ s almost a perfect choice for our state rock ) this bill argue that having rock. 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