Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactities, stalagmites, and other speleothems.
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Travertine is often used as a building material. The Romans mined deposits of travertine for building temples, aqueducts, monuments, bath complexes, and amphitheaters such as the Coloseums, the largest building in the world constructed mostly of travertine.
Travertine is one of several natural stones that are used for paving patios and garden paths. It is sometimes known as travertine limestone or travertine marble; these are the same stone, although travertine is classified properly as a type of limestone, not marble. The stone is characterised by pitted holes and troughs in its surface. Although these troughs occur naturally, they suggest signs of considerable wear and tear over time. It can also be polished to a smooth, shiny finish, and comes in a variety of colors from grey to coral-red. Travertine is most commonly available in tile sizes for application on floors, walls and counters.
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