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Natural Stones > Limestone

Natural Stones > Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and/or aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate. Like most other sedimentary rocks, limestones are composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Other carbonate grains comprising limestones are ooids, peloids, intraclasts, and extraclasts. Some limestones do not consist of grains at all, and are formed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes. Regions overlying limestone bedrock tend to have fewer visible groundwater sources (ponds and streams), as surface water easily drains downward through joints in the limestone. While draining, water and organic acid from the soil slowly (over thousands or millions of years) enlarges these cracks; dissolving the calcium carbonate and carrying it away in solution. Most cave systems are through limestone bedrock.

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