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(kăl`sīt), very widely distributed mineral, commonly white or colorless, but appearing in a great variety of colors owing to impurities. Chemically it is calcium carbonate, CaCO3, but it frequently contains manganese, iron, or magnesium in place of the calcium. It crystallizes in the hexagonal system, its crystals being characterized by highly perfect cleavage. Calcite also occurs in a number of massive forms, in which it may be coarsely to finely granular (as in marble), compact (as in limestone), powdery (as in chalk), or fibrous. One crystalline form, called dogtooth spar because of its dogtooth appearance, exhibits faces of perfect scalene triangles. Another form, satin spar, is finely fibrous and has a satin luster. Iceland sparIceland spar,
colorless variety of crystallized calcite, characterized by its properties of transparency and double refraction. It is used chiefly in the manufacture of Nicol prisms, which are essential parts of polarizing microscopes and other optical instruments.
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 is clear, transparent calcite. Other important forms of the mineral are limestonelimestone,
sedimentary rock wholly or in large part composed of calcium carbonate. It is ordinarily white but may be colored by impurities, iron oxide making it brown, yellow, or red and carbon making it blue, black, or gray. The texture varies from coarse to fine.
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, marblemarble,
metamorphic rock composed wholly or in large part of calcite or dolomite crystals, the crystalline texture being the result of metamorphism of limestone by heat and pressure.
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, chalkchalk,
mineral of calcium carbonate, similar in composition to limestone, but softer. It is characteristically a marine formation and sometimes occurs in great thickness; the chief constituents of these chalk deposits are the shells of minute animals called foraminiferans.
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, marlmarl
or bog lime,
soil, essentially clay mixed with carbonate of lime, highly valued as a dressing or fertilizer. It crumbles rapidly and easily. Marl in which the lime is in the form of invertebrate shells is called shell marl.
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, stalactite and stalagmitestalactite and stalagmite
, mineral forms often found in caves; sometimes collectively called dripstone. A stalactite is an icicle-shaped mass of calcite attached to the roof of a limestone cavern.
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 formations, travertinetravertine
, form of massive calcium carbonate, CaCO3, resulting from deposition by springs or rivers. It is often beautifully colored and banded as a result of the presence of iron compounds or other (e.g., organic) impurities.
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, and Oriental alabasteralabaster,
fine-grained, massive, translucent variety of gypsum, a hydrous calcium sulfate. It is pure white or streaked with reddish brown. Alabaster, like all other forms of gypsum, forms by the evaporation of bedded deposits that are precipitated mainly from evaporating
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. Millions of tons of calcite, in the form of limestone and marble, are mined annually. Besides its use as a building stone, it is the raw material for quicklime and cement, and is used extensively as a flux in smeltingsmelting,
in metallurgy, any process of melting or fusion, especially to extract a metal from its ore. Smelting processes vary in detail depending on the nature of the ore and the metal involved, but they are typified in the use of the blast furnace.
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 and as a soil conditioner.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(calcareous spar), a mineral with chemical composition CaCO3, containing 56 percent CaO and 44 percent CO2 and frequently Mg, Fe, Mn (up to 8 percent) as well as Zn, Co, Sr, and Ba. Calcite crystallizes in the trigonal system. It exists in the form of crystals with various habits—rhombohedral, scalenohedral, prismatic, or tabular—as well as in the form of stalactites and solid, granular, and earthy masses (chalk). The Ca and C atoms in the calcite structure are arranged at the lattice points of the rhombohedral lattices as though pushed into one another. The O atoms are in groups of three around each C atom and lie in the same plane. Calcite is brittle and exhibits perfect cleavage on the rhombohedron [1011]. Twins are a characteristic feature. Calcite crystals exhibit a high birefringence, and many are strongly fluorescent. Calcite’s hardness on the mineralogical scale is 3 and its density, 2, 720-2, 800 kg/m3. When heated, calcite decomposes at a temperature of 825°C; it is readily soluble in acids.

Calcite is one of the most widely distributed minerals in the earth’s crust, particularly among the hydrothermal formations in contact metasomatic deposits and in amygdaloids and geodes of igneous rocks. It is sometimes formed under magmatogenic conditions, producing carbonatites. Calcite precipitates from hot calcareous springs in the form of tufa (travertine). Enormous masses of calcite are formed as deposits in ocean basins, partly by biogenesis. Calcite appears as the main constituent of limestone, marble, and other sedimentary and metamorphic rocks widely used as construction and facing materials. Pure and transparent varieties of calcite—for example, Icelandic spar—are used in the optics industry.


Opticheskie materialy dlia infrakrasnoi tekhniki.Moscow, 1965.
“Kal’tsit.” In Fizicheskii entsiklopedicheskii slovar’, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962.
Kostov, I. Mineralogiia. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


CaCO3 One of the commonest minerals, the principal constituent of limestone; hexagonal-rhombohedral crystal structure, dimorphous with aragonite. Also known as calcspar.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A mineral form of calcium carbonate; the principal constituent of limestone, chalk, and marble; usually a major raw material used in portland cement manufacture.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a colourless or white mineral (occasionally tinged with impurities), found in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, in veins, in limestone, and in stalagmites and stalactites. It is used in the manufacture of cement, plaster, paint, glass, and fertilizer. Composition: calcium carbonate. Formula: CaCO3. Crystal structure: hexagonal (rhombohedral)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
An alternative method among calcite precipitation techniques, which is called enzyme-mediated calcite precipitation (EMCP) has been investigated in the previous studies [12,18,19].
The calcite precipitated by microbes within the cementitious matrix actually plugs the pores, and hence, contributes in improvement of compressive strength.
Dispersing calcite homogenously in mixture is particularly important since calcite tends to stick on aggregate particles due to electrostatic attraction between calcite (negatively charged) and aggregate (positively charged).
The R was analyzed for calcite and aragonite because only these two minerals showed growth of their own surfaces.
The most abundant mineral components in oil shale layers are calcite ([CaCO.sub.3]) and silica (Si[O.sub.2]).
Continuous layers (as opposed to isolated patches) of calcite are found in two major clades of bivalves: the pteriomorphs and the euheterodonts.
The generation of the calcite surfaces was based on the known crystallographic structure [20].
Calcite was found to be the main mineral (>75%) with a smallvariationof 1-2% in different samples.
108; Barskov 1970; Spaeth, 1971, 1975; Spaeth et al., 1971, Bandel et al., 1984; Sslen, 1989; Richter et al., 2011, Benito and Reolid, 2012) include the presence of concentric growth layers or rings; a radial fabric of prismatic calcite crystals that emerge from the apical line and thicken towards the external wall of the rostra; and the crystals' internal micro-fibrous texture, enhanced after etching in 25% glutardialdehyde and in other diluted acids (Sslen, 1989), which more or less perpendicularly traverses the concentric growth pattern.
In the analysis of carbon and oxygen isotopes, nine samples of the Ordovician bedrock drilling core and 45 samples of the paleokarst cave-filling calcite were used.
Its color comes from the rich concentrations of the mineral calcite in the waters near the surface.
Therefore, effects of 100% organic materials, namely nanosize calcite (CaCO3, SiO2, MgO, and Fe2O3) and seaweed extract (Ascophyllium nodosum) pulverizations on size, fertility and germination rates of the pollens of 'Thompson Seedless' and 'Narince' grapevine cultivars were investigated.