The many wonders of

CaCO3

  • 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?


       

       

    To the introduction to the tables of carbonate minerals.
    To Railsback's main page
    To the UGA Geology Home Page