one of the most frequently used stones in modern architecture,
and is commonly seen as facade material, wall cladding, and
flooring. Architect Welton Becket was one of the most frequent
users of travertine,
incorporating it extensively into many if not most of his projects.
The entire first floor of the Becket-designed UCLA Medical
Center has thick travertine walls.
rock travertine is
a natural chemical precipitate of carbonate minerals;
typically aragonite, but often recrystallized
to or primarily calcite; which is deposited from
the water of mineral springs (especially hot springs) or streams
saturated with calcium carbonate.
pure, travertine is
white, but often is brown to yellow due to impurities. When
carbon dioxide-rich water percolates
through rocks in limestone areas, the water dissolves the limestone
and becomes saturated with it. When the water resurfaces later,
the sudden drop in pressure and the change in temperature cause
the water to release the carbon dioxide gas, much
like fizzy drinks. The calcium carbonate then recrystallizes,
often over minute underwater plants. The resulting rock is
typically quite porous with numerous cavities. When exceptionally
it is known as calcarious tufa.
deposits exist at Tivoli, Italy, near Rome. In fact, travertine
derives its name from this town. Tivoli was known
as Tibur in
ancient Roman times. The ancient name for the stone was lapis
tiburtinus meaning tibur stone, which has been corrupted
to travertine. Detailed
studies of the Tivoli travertine deposits
revealed diurnal and annual rhythmic banding and laminae which
use in geochronology.
formed 16 huge, natural dams in a valley in Croatia known as
Plitvice National Park. The Travertine clings
to moss and rocks in the water, and has built up over several
to form waterfalls up to 70 m in height. More info can be found
at the park's website and Plitvice. Other
beautiful cascades of natural lakes formed behind travertine dams
can be seen in Pamukkale (Turkey),
HuangLong Valley (Sichuan, China), Semuc Champey (Guatemala),
and Band-i-Amir (Afghanistan).
Many geyser fields also have colorful travertine deposits.
building in the world constructed largely of travertine is
the Colosseum in Rome.
Another notable building using travertine extensively is the
Getty Center in Los Angeles,
The travertine used
in the construction was imported from Tivoli. The website of
the Getty Center contains more information
about the use of travertine in
its construction, including some videos
of travertine being
quarried and cut for use. The stone is most widely used in
Italy, Greece and Turkey.
Travertine is one of several natural stones that are used for paving patios
and garden paths. It is sometimes known as travertine limestone, sometimes as travertine marble; these are the same
stone, even though it is neither limestone nor marble.
The stone is characterised by pitted holes and troughs in its
surface. Some installers use a grout to fill these holes,
whereas others leave them open — travertine can even be purchased "filled" or "unfilled." It
can be effectively 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 floor installations.
- Folk, R. L., et al; (1985) Bizarre forms of depositional
and diagenetic calcite in hot spring travertines, in Carbonate
Cements; SEPM Special Pub. 36.
- Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of
Mineralogy, 20th ed., Wiley, p. 496 ISBN
Mexico travertine study
all of our products