Architectural stone potential in the Appalachians
Yves Bellemare, eng.
Since 1994, the demand for new stone varieties
has steadily increased in the decorative stone and landscaping stone
industry in Québec. In addition to traditional exploration
for granite, prospecting for so-called soft stone or exotic stone
varieties has generated considerable interest. Several areas in
the Appalachians, where these types of stone were once quarried,
are once again considered high-potential areas for architectural
Over the past few decades, very little exploration
was carried out for soft stone varieties (marble, limestone, sandstone),
exotic stone (steatite, serpentine, peridotite) and slate, in order
to assess their potential as sources of architectural stone. To
orient future investigations efficiently, it is sometimes necessary
to use geoscience data dating back to the early 20th century.
Recently, the Department launched a study to assess the potential
of limestones and sandstones in a few areas in the Bas-Saint-Laurent
and Gaspésie regions (Bellemare
and Jacob, 2001; Bellemare, Togola and Lapointe, 2002 (PDF Format, 1,5 Mo)).
Prospectors and companies have also conducted some exploration on
these types of stone in the Appalachians.
Steatite, peridotite and serpentine