color photo of dolomite sample

Hardness: 3.5 to 4

The mineral dolomite is composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3)2 and is closely related to calcite, the main component of limestone. In large masses, the mineral forms the rock called dolomite. It may be white, gray, greenish gray, brown, or pink, and it has a glassy to pearly luster. It occurs in coarse- to fine-grained granular masses and in crystals. Dolomite is slightly harder than calcite, although it can easily be scratched by a knife. It will not fizz readily in dilute solutions of cold hydrochloric acid unless first ground to a powder.

Read more about dolomite in Rocks and Minerals in the Red Hills.

small drawing of Kansas map with Cherokee County highlighted in red

The sample pictured above is from Cherokee County, Kansas


Buchanan, Rex C., Tolsted, Laura L., and Swineford, Ada, 1986, Kansas Rocks and Minerals: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 2, 60 p.

Klein, Cornelis, 1993, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D. Dana), 21st Edition: New York, Wiley, 681 p.

Unless noted otherwise, illustrations by Jennifer Sims, Kansas Geological Survey; photographs by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey; text by Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey.

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