[internet geography]

[Geo Topics - click a topic below to get background information]


Environmental Problems

Physical Geography

Plate Tectonics
Weather and climat
National Parks

Human Geography


Economic Geography

Employment Structures

Home |  INS |  Activities |  KS3 |  GCSE |  Teachers |  Links |  Search |  Ask A Geographer |  Policy  |  Contact | 
[Geo's top 10 geography web sites]
Check out our top 10 web sites


What is Limestone?
Erosion of Limestone
Limestone (Karst) Features
Limestone and Recreation
Case Study - Malham, Peak District

What is Limestone?

Limestone is an organic, sedimentary rock. This means it was formed from the remains of tiny shells and micro-skeletons deposited on the sea bed. They were compressed to form solid rock. Limestone is made up of calcium carbonate and reacts with diluted hydrocloric acid. Limestone is formed in layers - called bedding planes. These bedding planes contain vertical cracks called joints. Joints and bedding planes make the rock permeable.

Erosion of Limestone

Weathering is the breakdown of rock by physical, chemical or biological processes. Limestone areas are weathered when rainwater, which contains a weak cabonic acid, reacts with limestone. When it rains limestone is dissolved. Rainwater erodes the joints and bedding planes. In doing this Karst scenery is created.

Limestone (Karst) Features

[Limestone (karst) features]

Karst scenery includes:

Swallow hole - An exposed limestone joint down which a surface river 'disappears'.

Clints and grykes - Rainwater flowing over an impermeable surface will, on reaching (permeable) limestone, be able to dissolve the joints into grooves called grykes, leaving blocks or clumps of limestone in between called clints

Limestone pavements - Exposed clints and grykes.

Stalactite - Water dripping from the roofs of caves leave behind microscopic particles of calcium carbonate. These build up as icicle shaped stalactites.

Stalagmite - Drips splashing onto the cave floor create stalagmites.

Limestone and Recreation

Limestone areas offer a wide range of opportunities to recreationists. This includes - potholing, caving, walking, climbing, abseiling and many other outdoor persuits.

Case Study - Malham, Peak District

The Malham area of the Peak District National Park is an excellent case study of a limestone area.


GeoNet is not responsible for the content of any of these sites

Upland Limestone An impressive site by the BBC. It contains lots of flash animation. It doesn't get much better than this!

Home |  Key Stage 3 |  GCSE |  Teachers |  Links
Search |  Ask A Geographer |  Policy  |  Contact