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Additional recommended knowledge
Tufa is a rough, thick, rock-like calcium carbonate deposit that forms by precipitation from bodies of water with a high dissolved calcium content. Tufa is not to be confused with tuff which is volcanic.
Tufa deposition occurs in seven known ways:
There are some prominent towers of Tufa at Mono Lake and Trona Pinnacles in California, formed by fourth method mentioned above. Tufa is also common in Armenia and central-southern Italy (Campania, Lazio and Tuscany).
Usage note: The rock type "tufa" is commonly confused in name by laypersons with the rock type "tuff", which is a rock formed from welded volcanic ash. These rocks are nothing like each other.
In the ancient world, tufa's relative softness meant that it was commonly used for construction where it was available. Tufa is common in Italy, and the Romans used it for many buildings and bridges. The Servian Wall, built to defend the city of Rome in the 4th century BC, is built almost entirely from tufa. The Romans also cut tufa into small rectangular stones that they used to create walls in a pattern known as opus reticulatum.
Tufa is today occasionally shaped into a planter. Its porous consistency makes tufa ideal for alpine gardens. A concrete mixture called hypertufa is used for similar purposes.
The Romans thought bees nested in tufa. The substance is mentioned in the Aeneid (Book XII, ln 805).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tufa". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|