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Dolostone, sometimes called dolomite, is similar to limestone in many ways. The most important difference between the two rocks is that the main constituent of dolostone is the mineral dolomite rather than calcite as in limestone. One process by which dolostone can be formed is by means of direct precipitation of calcium magnesium carbonate from seawater. Another process is for dolomite to slowly replace the calcite of limestone after the limestone has been deposited. In either case, dolostone has more of the element magnesium than calcium.
As with limestone, much of the dolostone that is found in Ohio today occurs in the western half of the state. It also is found in the eastern part of the state. Dolostone was formed in warm, clear, shallow seas during the Paleozoic Era. A comparable modern-day environment that could produce both limestone and dolostone is the Caribbean Sea.
Dolostone also is one of Ohio’s important industrial minerals.<img width="119" height="182" title="Image of dolomite" alt="Image of dolomite" src="images/naturalHistory/rocks/dolomiteinsert.jpg" />
A kind of dolostone known as "Springfield Dolomite" from Clark County was used by builders for part of the eterior walls of Orton Hall on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.
The mountains in northeastern Italy called the "Dolomites" (Dolomiti in Italian), form one of the principal ranges of the Alps.
- Coogan, Allan H. Ohio’s Surface Rocks and Sediments; Chapter 3 in Fossils of Ohio, edited by Rodney M. Feldmann; Ohio Geological Survey, Bulletin 70, 1996.
- Pough, Frederick H. A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA; 1976. Sorrell, Charles A. Rocks and Minerals; Golden Press, New York, NY; 1973.
- Wolfe, Mark E., compiler 1997 Report on Ohio Mineral Industries; Ohio Division of Geological Survey; 1998