The many wonders of


  • a substance with two polymorphic minerals, aragonite and calcite, that are relatively stable at the earth's surface, so that natural reactions transform one to the other in diagenesis and metamorphism.

  • a substance in which, of its three elements, two (C and O) have isotopic chemistries with numerous applications in the geosciences.

  • a substance that incorporates multiple cations as trace elements, preferentially including some and preferentially excluding others, with the degree of inclusion or exclusion partly dependent on temperature and precipitation rate.

  • a substance found in igneous rocks, in sedimentary rocks, in metamorphic rocks, in sediments on land and at sea, and in soils.

  • a substance sufficiently insoluble to be a stable mineral at the earth's surface but sufficiently soluble that it dissolves and reprecipitates in a number of near-earth-surface environments, in part to give caves and their speleothems.

  • a substance with sufficient crystallographic variability, from needles to equant crystals, to allow a host of petrographic textures.

  • a substance for which the formula weight is almost exactly 100.

  • a substance that, in its calcite polymorph, twins in response to stress and thus serves as a record of tectonic compression.

  • a substance produced by organisms ranging in complexity from bacteria to humans, and produced by a host of inorganic processes.

  • a substance widely used
        as a building stone and almost invariably used
           in the interiors of cathedrals, temples, and public buildings;
        as the construction aggregate of choice for highways and other engineering projects;
        as a vital agricultural treatment to alleviate acidification of soils;
        as an industrially useful chemical reagent;
        and as an artistic medium for much of the world's finest sculpture.


    Who could ask for anything more?



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