Siever, Raymond Formerly, Department of Geology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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A rather dense, banded limestone (see illustration), sometimes moderately porous, that is formed by evaporation about springs, as is tufa, or in caves as stalactites, stalagmites, or dripstone. Where travertine or tufa (calcareous sinter) is deposited by hot springs, it may be the result of the loss of carbon dioxide from the waters as pressure is released upon emerging at the surface; the release of carbon dioxide lowers the solubility of calcium carbonate, which precipitates. High rates of evaporation in hot-spring pools also lead to supersaturation. Travertine formed in caves is simply the result of complete evaporation of waters containing mainly calcium carbonate. See also: Limestone; Stalactites and stalagmites; Tufa
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