Monday, 15 November 2010

Dolomite? Pretty?

Whenever I hear the word "dolomite" I want to run away. I don't know any palaeontologist who likes the stuff and I feel like it has been following me around a fair bit. Back home I live on top of the Magnesian Limestone, which is dolomite, and because of that fossils are sparse. Dolomite is limestone which has been altered (to simplify a tad) and the process is not good for any fossils in the rock. Dolomite was also heavily present during my mapping trip in Spain, though it did give quite a dramatic landscape.
The dolomite ridge known as "Las Cuchilleras". 
Even though the dolomite has created some interesting topography, I still couldn't have imagined anyone thinking of it as nice to look at. Until today that is. We were shown images of the results of cathodoluminescence on dolomite:
On the left are the samples before luminescence. 

How nice are they! To me they conjure up images of the classical understanding of Hell, the sort found in Dante's Inferno. Have some more:

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