This is the first book entirely devoted to travertine, a material in use for over 4000 years. The single-author work is a valuable reference source for travertine, covering all aspects of travertine origins, formation, composition, flora and fauna, occurrence and utilisation, as well as covering allied continental carbonates such as lake marls, calcretes and beachrocks. Travertine, some forms of which are often known as 'tufa', is of particular significance as a source of environmental information (fossils and isotope geochemistry), often permitting the reconstruction of past environments. Reviews of dating techniques, classification and geomorphology are included and the author attempts to provide an unbiased but critical appraisal of current models of travertine formation. Currently, travertine is in great demand as a building and ornamental stone. It has also been exploited in unconventional ways, such as 'petrifying springs' and by way of unusual and little known artistic techniques. Scaling of pipes and boilers is often the result of processes allied to travertine formation.
The phenomenon is described parallel to methods of scale elimination and compared with natural processes where travertine formation is inhibited. Travertine sites are of special scientific interest, with their rich and often unique floras and faunas displaying their unique biodiversity, and their unusual and often fragile biota. Conservation issues are discussed, together with the description of travertine fossils and occurrences throughout the geological record. The content will be of interest to carbonate sedimentologists, hydrobiologists, palaeoclimatologists, physical geographers, water treatment engineers, astrobiologists, architects, and sculptors.