Calcite has the property of double refraction, which is apparent in the transparent variety of calcite known as Iceland spar. Stalactites are pendent forms consisting of concentric layers of calcite deposited by the evaporation of water containingt calcium carbonate dripping from the roofs of limestone caves. Stalagmites are complimentary columns rising from the floor of caves where drops of water falling from stalactites have landed (see stalactites and stalagmites). Calcareous tufa consists of a more or less cellular deposit of calcium carbonate deposited from water containing calcium carbonate in solution.
Calcite is an important rock-forming mineral and a major constituent of limestone, marble, chalk, and carbonatites. It is used in the manufacture of lime, cement, and fertilizers.
Related category GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE
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