The Wonder of Limestone – Part 1

Hello, and welcome to Fossils on Friday! In the next few weeks, leading up to the Christmas break, we’ll be looking at the fascinating subject of limestone. Limestone is the most common rock type to be found in the United Kingdom, which means that you’re probably never very far from being able to find some!

Limestone comes in many different forms. Some of them you’ll almost certainly have heard of, (such as chalk). Others, (such as carboniferous phosphate), won’t be quite so familiar, but they soon will be!

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All limestone has one thing in common – its mineral makeup. The main component of limestone is calcium carbonate, which you may recognize if you have bought The Rocks Cry Out – The Valley of Lime! Or if you have simply been reading the last few posts about Tites n’ Mites!

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Calcium carbonate is not very water soluble, but is a very good filter, which means that a lot of underground streams and reservoirs are found inside limestone formations. Most of the UK’s caves are in limestone rock, most of its water is filtered by chalk, and some of its best fossils can be found within it.

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Icthyosaurus fossil skeleton in limestone from Lyme Regis.

Limestone can be incredibly beautiful, extremely useful, and catastrophically destructive. So join me over the next few weeks as we discover the wonder of limestone!

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