Natural Indian Minerals
Limestone and Dolomite Minerals

Dolomite is a common rock-forming mineral. It is a calcium magnesium carbonate with a chemical composition of CaMg(CO3)2. It is the primary component of the sedimentary rock known as dolostone and the metamorphic rock known as dolomitic marble. Limestone that contains some dolomite is known as dolomitic limestone. Dolomite is rarely found in modern sedimentary environments, but dolostones are very common in the rock record. They can be geographically extensive and hundreds to thousands of feet thick.

Most rocks that are rich in dolomite were originally deposited as calcium carbonate muds that were postdepositionally altered by magnesium-rich pore water to form dolomite. Dolomite is also a common mineral in hydrothermal veins. There it is often associated with barite, fluorite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, or sphalerite. In these veins it often occurs as rhombohedral crystals which sometimes have curved faces. Dolomite is sometimes used in its place as a flux for the smelting of iron and steel. Dolomite and limestone are used in similar ways. They are crushed and used as an aggregate in construction projects

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Most is formed by the accumulation and subsequent solidification of marine fossil debris, but freshwater limestone deposits are also known. Marble formed by the metamorphism of limestone is an important source of calcium carbonate, as is shellgrit, an unconsolidated accumulation of sea shell debris found in beach ridge deposits along the coastline. Metamorphism of the limestone will recrystallize it as marble but generally this does not effect its capacity as an industrial material.

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