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Dolostone is a rare kind of sedimentary rock which constitutes of mainly dolomite, CaMg(CO3). It is formed as a result of the addition of magnesium to limestone. Dolomites are, therefore, very similar in their make up to limestone with their major differences coming from the addition of magnesium.

 They are ancient stones that formed over a long period of time. The process of replacement of limestone by magnesium is done prior to lithification, which is a major process in the formation of every sedimentary rock. Physical appearance of Dolostones can vary because some of them appear embedded layers while others do not, its chemical reactions a basically acidic though they are rather weakly acidic and are far less soluble in water than limestone making them very durable and harder to disintegrate because of its higher level of compacted crystalline nature. A rather dissolved solution of Dolostone will turn blue litmus red and have a ph of between five and six.

As the name implies, Dolostone was named after its constituent compound dolomite. Its name was chosen so as to avoid confusion with the constituent mineral dolomite, which incidentally was attributed to the rock in the 18th century. These findings on the constituent material dolomite were first carried out by French mineralogist Deodat Delomieu in 1791 from its occurrence in the Southern Alps where it is densely located.

Dolostone is a very useful rock within the petroleum industry owing to its internal structure. It leaves hollows or voids within its structure in which mineral oil is stored. The petroleum industry drills within these voids for oil. The uses of Dolostone are somewhat diverse most notable is the use in road construction where it is mixed with asphalt and concrete. Another application is within the manufacture of ceramics along with farmers to control and monitor the pH level of the soil. It also has been used in the production of magnesium salt, which in turn, has pharmaceutical uses. Though Dolostones are unique rocks they have very similar physical appearance to some other sedimentary rocks such as white marble, white charts, gray slags, and of course limestone.

 Additional Resoures

Dolomite   Elgin Marbles   Epidote

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