Some people travel to remote locations of the world to see different types of rock. However, examples of rocks often can easily be found in urban areas. Central Park in New York City is an excellent place to find examples of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock, both naturally occurring and used for sculptures, monuments, and bridges.
Weighing 221 tons and standing 21 m high, Cleopatra's Needle, is the oldest human-made object in Central Park. The granite was quarried in Egypt more than 3000 years ago in 1475 bc. The sculpture remained in Egypt until 1879, when it was moved to the United States. Granite is more resistant to weathering than other types of rocks and engravings made in granite can be read for hundreds of years, making it an excellent rock for the construction of monuments.
152 Chapter 6 • Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks
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The Maine Monument Located at the main entrance to Central Park, the Maine Monument is an immense structure made of marble, limestone, and bronze. The massive bow of a ship that makes up the base of the monument was sculpted out of marble, a type of metamorphic rock. A bronze statue sits atop a 15 m limestone pylon.
Schist and gneiss These two types of metamorphic rock occur naturally in Central Park. Outcroppings of these rocks, formed from sedimentary or igneous rock under intense heat and pressure, can be found throughout the park. The Gapstow Bridge was constructed using the local bedrock.
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