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 Limestone is a chemical sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate: CaCO3). Limestone often contain variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or flint, as well as amounts of clay, silt and sand as disseminations, nodules, or layers within the rock unit. The primary source of this calcite is most commonly marine organisms. These organisms secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors as pelagic ooze (see lysocline for information on calcite dissolution). Secondary calcite may also be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters (groundwater that precipitates the material in caves). This produces speleothems such as stalagmites and stalactites. Another form is composed of oolites (oolitic limestone) and can be recognised by its granular appearance. Limestone makes up about 10 percent of the total volume of all sedimentary rocks.
Pure limestone are white or almost white. Because of impurities, such as clay, sand, organic remains, iron oxide and other materials, many limestone exhibit different colors, especially on weathered surfaces. Limestone may be crystalline, classic, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation. Crystals of calcite, quartz, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock.
Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams, particularly where there are waterfalls and around hot or cold springs. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the water leaves a solution that is supersaturated with chemical constituents of calcite. Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls. Coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells.
During regional metamorphism limestone recrystallizes into marble.
Limestone is a parent material of Mollisol soil group.

Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material which settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth's history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.

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