Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material.
Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters, and/or geothermally heated hot-springs Similar (but softer and extremely porous) deposits formed from ambient-temperature water are known as tufa.
Until the 1980s Italy had a near-monopoly on the world travertine market; now significant supplies are quarried in mainly Turkey, Iran, Mexico, and Peru.