Limestone is a sedimentary rock, mainly composed of mineral calcite. The primary source of the calcite is usually marine organisms, which settle out of the water column and are deposited on the ocean floors as pelagic ooze (but see lysocline for information on calcite dissolution). Secondary calcite may also be deposited in super-saturated meteoric waters, as is evidenced by the creation of stalagmites and stalactites.
Bands of limestone emerge from the Earth's surface in often spectacular rocky outcrops and islands. For example the Verdon Gorge in France, Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, England and the Ha Long Bay National Park in Vietnam.
Limestone consists of sedimentary rock wholly or in large part composed of calcium carbonate. It is ordinarily white but may be coloured by impurities, iron oxide making it brown, yellow, or red and carbon making it blue, black, or gray. The texture varies from coarse to fine. Most limestones are formed by the deposition and consolidation of the skeletons of marine invertebrates; a few originate in chemical precipitation from solution. Limestone deposits are frequently of great thickness.
Limestone often tends to be more expensive than Marble, Travertine and Granite, it also tends to be very popular with many discerning Architects, Designers, Builders, and Consumers.
More and More interior décor publications are emphasising on the use of Limestone and Travertine not only as a wise investment long-term to ceramics and terracotta but for the ease of maintenance and overall appearance.
It is quarried for roadbeds and gravel roads, building and landscape construction, and cement manufacture.
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS GENERAL
Sedimentary rock is one of the three main rock groups (along with igneous and metamorphic rocks) and is formed in three main ways-by the deposition of the weathered remains of other rocks (known as clastic sedimentary rocks); by the deposition of the results of biogenic activity; and by precipitation from solution. Sedimentary rocks include common types such as chalk, limestone, sandstone, and shale.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from overburden pressure as particles of sediment are deposited out of air, ice, or water flows carrying the particles in suspension. As sediment deposition builds up, the overburden (or lithostatic) pressure squeezes the sediment into layered solids in a process known as lithification ("rock formation") and the original connate fluids are expelled.
Sedimentary rocks are composed largely of silica (i.e. quartz), with other common minerals including feldspars, amphiboles, clay minerals and sometimes more exotic igneous minerals. Sedimentary rocks are classified as clastic, that is, they are composed of discrete clasts of material (rather than being composed of organic material as is the case for a limestone).
Carbonate minerals precipitating out of the ocean cover the ocean floor with layers of calcite which can later form limestone.
Sedimentary rocks are economically important in that they can be used as construction material. In addition, sedimentary rocks often form porous and permeable reservoirs in sedimentary basins in which petroleum and other hydrocarbons can be found.
It is believed that the relatively low levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, in comparison to that of Venus, is due to large amounts of carbon being trapped in limestone and dolomite sedimentary layers. The flux of carbon from eroded sediments to marine deposits is known as the carbon-cycle.
The shape of the particles in sedimentary rocks has an important effect on the ability of micro-organisms to colonize them. This interaction is studied in the science of geomicrobiology. One measure of the shape of these particles is the roundness factor, also known as the Krumbein number after the geologist W. C. Krumbein.
Sedimentary rock is formed from the weathered remains of other rocks.
CLASSIFICATION OF ROCKS