other names: Dolomite, Perlspat, Rautenspat
mineral class: anhydrous carbonates
chemical formula: CaMgCO32
Chemical elements: Calcium, magnesium, carbon, oxygen
Similar minerals: Calcite
colour: colorless, white, yellow
shine: Glass gloss
crystal structure: trigonal
mass density: 2,85
magnetism: not magnetic
Mohs hardness: 4
stroke color: White
use: Building material
General information about dolomite:
dolomite describes primarily a strong magnesium-containing mineral, which is also known under the names Perlspat and Rautenspat. Dolomit owes its name to the scientist Déodat des Dolomieu. The Swiss H. B. of the Saussure gave the mineral, which he discovered and named in the late 18th century, Dolomieu in his honor the name dolomite.
Dolomite is counted among the carbonates and is an anhydrous mineral closely related to magnesite and calcite. It is completely fissile, has a mussel break and saddle-shaped curved crystal surfaces. Dolomite appears slightly transparent to transparent and attracts attention with a mother-of-pearl or glass luster. In its pure form, the mineral is colorless to white, less often shows a yellowish or brownish tone. Dolomite can also fluoresce in many colors, but usually orange, pink and greenish. The only variety is the so-called cobalt dolomite, which adopts a delicate to salmon-pink color due to impurities with cobalt.
The name dolomite also refers to rock types, which are mainly composed of this mineral, the dolomite content must make up at least ninety percent. At a lower level, the rock is called dolomitic limestone. Dolomite stone is usually of a chalk white color, but may also appear in various shades of gray, beige and cream. It is closely related to limestone and often found in association with it. As a widespread rock in Europe, especially in the Alps are high occurrences of dolomite.
The mineral dolomite is formed by reactions of calcite sediments with magnesium and calcium containing seawater or solutions. High salt concentrations play just as important a role as pronounced evaporation. Particularly beautiful crystals are found especially in the Austrian and Italian Alps between Salzburg, Tyrol and South Tyrol. Other countries that are important for the mining of dolomite crystals include Germany, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Spain, the United States and Mexico.
Economically important is the mineral dolomite as a component of dolomite stone, which finds different uses as a building material. As a light and acid-resistant natural stone, dolomite is often used for floor tiles, outdoor and indoor tiles, brick and fire-resistant bricks and is used in the design of gardens and water facilities. It is also used in the concrete industry, in the production of glass and as part of Cement use. Due to its excellent filter properties, it is also used to fill reactors after nuclear accidents and thereby reduce the radiation. Although the mineral dolomite is slightly harder compared to calcite, the translucent crystal is due to its high cleavage and sensitivity only limited for jewelry production.