No, limestone does not dissolve in water alone. However, limestone will dissolve in water when carbon dioxide is added.
When it rains and water enters streams, lakes, and rivers where limestone is present, this acid rain contains carbon dioxide and, over time, will dissolve the limestone.
Limestone is made of calcium carbonate and when chemicals that contain hydrogen enter the water they will dissolve limestone too.
Does Limestone Dissolve In Water? (EXPLAINED)
Limestone is made of calcium carbonate and contains the crystalline form called calcite.
In pure water, it does not dissolve very well.
But rainwater that contains carbon dioxide will dissolve limestone more easily.
This chemical reaction dissolves the calcium carbonate in the limestone even as the temperature of the water decreases.
The rainwater erodes the limestone and leads to the formation of caves, caverns, and stalagmites.
The acid in the rainwater reacts with the calcium carbonate to form calcium bicarbonate.
The formation of stalagmites in caves is the opposite of limestone dissolving.
The water that drips from the ceiling of the caves evaporates, leaving behind the limestone deposit on the ceilings of caves.
Acid rain is caused by acids in the atmosphere that are very strong.
Other acids produced that dissolve limestone are from industry.
Acids are made from electric utilities, industrial chemicals and processes, transportation and emissions, and materials used in agriculture.
These substances get into the water and will dissolve limestone.
Uses of Limestone In Industry
Limestone is a mineral used in many different industries.
It is classified as a sedimentary rock that is formed on the ocean floor.
Coral and sea creatures leave behind their shells that have calcium carbonate.
This contributes to the formation of limestone.
About 10% of rocks are made of limestone. It is added to the diet of some farm animals.
It has many uses in the industry.
It has been used in construction and building for many years.
Limestone is used in building blocks to construct homes and buildings.
These limestone products are used as part of a retaining wall outdoors and as tiles for stone flooring.
It is shaped into blocks for building and can be made into large or smaller blocks like bricks.
It was used to make the pyramids and has great strength.
These blocks do not corrode and can be polished.
Limestone is crushed and used in making concrete and is coated with bitumen to make asphalt.
These materials pave roads, build walls, and make decorative stones.
It is used in making steel. It is used in gardening products to condition the soil.
Lime burning is the process of heating limestone to a high temperature.
In farming, it is used in many fertilizers to treat and neutralize acidic soil.
Limestone is used to control pollution because it reacts with sulfur dioxide.
It is purified and used as a source of calcium in bread and cereal.
In mining, it is used to stop explosions of methane.
It is added to our water supply to stop the water from corroding lead pipes.
In medicine, it is used to make antacids that help with indigestion and fillers to make tablets.
In cosmetics, it is used in many products as a filler.
Limestone is mixed with clay to make sculptures.
It is used as an ingredient in toothpaste and to extract gold from quartz.
Some rock collectors collect limestone due to its unique characteristics.
There are different types to collect and prized for their strength and beauty.
Oolithic limestone is formed into spheres that look like pearls.
They are laid in a sand mixture and cemented by calcite.
The rocks form in warm water on the beaches where waves wash over them.
They are located in areas of high tidal activity. Oolites are often found in sand dunes.
Shelly limestone is composed of fossilized organisms found in the ocean like sponges, coral, and mollusks.
You can often find shell fragments in this limestone.
They are formed on the seafloor or beaches.
It is used as a building material.
Limestones can be collected in many locations around the United States.
Limestone can be found in several states that comprise the Appalachian region.
These states are Kentucky, Iowa, and Tennessee.
Limestone is the most common type of rock in these regions for rock collectors.
The Green River in Kentucky is a site that has limestone geodes.
Other states with limestone are Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California.
Where to Collect Limestone Rocks and How
Limestone quarries are good locations for rock collectors to get limestone rocks with fossils in them.
No matter where you look for rocks, get the permission of the owners or find out if rock collectors are allowed to collect rocks.
Many quarries are located near water.
In some locations, you may have to pay for what you collect.
You will need a hammer and chisel to separate the layers of limestone and to keep the samples from cracking.
Wear gloves to protect your hands.
To find a location in your state, check with rock collecting societies and groups.
Look for limestone quarries and areas that allow rock collectors to collect limestone samples.
Wear protective glasses to protect your eyes when breaking off a sample.
It can be exciting for children and adults because they might find samples with fossils.
Layers of limestone rocks may reveal different types of fossils that died and fell into the ocean.
It is connected to science and a great learning tool.
Some tourist attractions and science centers may offer opportunities to search and collect limestone samples.
Even if you do not live near a fossil location, many quarries have fossil limestone shipped to them.
The best place to look for limestone is the local rock quarries in your state.
Rock collecting societies and organizations will be able to give you information on locations and how to proceed.
It is illegal in most national parks to collect limestone and other rocks.
That is why it is important to find locations that it is permitted before proceeding with collecting rocks.
Many clubs go rock hunting in groups and know the best locations to go.
Other articles about limestone you might enjoy:
- Does Limestone Float?
- Do People Eat Limestone?
- How To Spot Differences Between Limestone and Granite
- Limestone vs Dolostone: Different?
- How Does Limestone Filter Water?
- Is Limestone Organic?
- Is Limestone a Renewable Resource?
- What Happens When Limestone Is Mixed With Water?
- 7 Examples of Limestone Monuments
- Can Limestone Scratch Glass?