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What is Calcite?
Below is a transcription of the sign above found at the Valley of Fire Visitor Center.
Calcite results when magnesium-bearing (carbonated) waters acts on calcium silicates, found in lavas.
Calcite is common sedimentary rocks, where it often cements together grains of other materials.
This mineral may occur in great masses as the chief component of chalk, limestone, and metamorphic marbles.
The action of carbonated waters on bodies of calcite change them first to dolomite and finally to pure magnesite.
Beds of magnesite up to 300 feet (100 m.) thick occur near the Valley of Fire.
Many commercial uses are made of calcite: manufacturer of cement, line, and chalk.
White calcite contrasts with the red sandstone it penetrated millions of years ago.
Erosion shrank the original sandstone formation to this small boulder, now protected from surface erosion by the hard calcite layer once buried deep within the sand of an ancient dune.
Time Period: Paleozoic-Mesozoic Eras
Composition: Crystalline from the compound calcium carbonate
Location: Sandstone, limestone, and dolomite formations throughout the park