Lexicon

Serpentine Rock - Outcrop

The term Serpentine refers to a group of minerals that make up Serpentinite Rock. Serpentinite is a metamorphic rock formed when water and rock are exposed to low temperatures (400-600 degrees) and metamorphic processes (high pressure) within the earth's crust. Serpentinite is a type of ultramafic rock, consisting primarily of magnesium silica and iron oxide minerals. Heavy metals in serpentine rock-soil beds such as iron, nickel and magnesium limit surrounding plant communities to only the most tolerant and adaptable species. Serpentine outcrops in the western US are characterized by the eponymous rock, swaths of manzanita, chaparral pea, chemise, chaparral oak and sargent cyprus stands. Heavy metals in serpentine rock such as iron, nickel and magnesium limit surrounding plant communities to only the most tolerant and adaptable. Serpentine Rock is the state rock of California.

Lizard on Serpentine Outcrop

A lizard rests on a serpentine outcrop in Mt Tamalpais State Park, California.