Lime Stone Facts



  • Streams and rainwater absorb carbon dioxide gas from soil and air. It turns them into weak carbonic acid.
  • Carbonic acid corrodes (wears away by dissolving) limestone in a process called carbonation.
  • When limestone rock is close to the surface, carbonation can create spectacular scenery.
  • Corroded limestone scenery is often called karst, because the best example of it is the Karst Plateau near Dalmatia, in Bosnia.
  • On the surface, carbonation eats away along cracks to create pavements, with slabs called clints. The slabs are separated by deeply etched grooves called grykes.
  • Limestone rock does not soak up water like a sponge. It has massive cracks called joints, and streams and rainwater trickle deep into the rock through these cracks.
  • Limestone is usually white, cream, grey or yellow.
  • Streams drop down into limestone through swallow-holes, like bathwater down a plughole. Carbonation eats out such holes to form giant shafts called potholes.
  • Some potholes are eaten out to create great funnel-shaped hollows called dolines, up to 100 m across.
  • Where water streams out along horizontal cracks at the base of potholes, the rock may be etched out into caverns.
  • Caverns may be eaten out so much that the roof collapses to form a gorge or a large hole called a polje.