Geological Classification of Limestone


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The rock forming the earth's crust falls into three generic group's: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Heat, pressure, and chemical reactions may change either igneous or sedimentary rock into metamorphic rock, meaning "changed in form," usually into a more compact and crystalline condition, and even metamorphic rocks may be further altered to higher ranks of metamorphism.

Rocks may become plastic under great pressure and high temperature and by earth movement. They may be folded into complex forms with a banded structure. Many constitutes minerals may be dissolved, transported, and reprecipitated by thermal waters. Heat and pressure may cause recrystallization.

Limestone is defined as a rock of sedimentary origin composed principally of calcium carbonate or the double carbonate of calcium and magnesium, or a combination of these two minerals.

Recrystallized limestone, compact microcrystalline limestone, and travertine that are capable of taking a polish are promoted, marketed and sold as either limestone or marble, particularly in the United States.

Dimension limestone is divided into three sub classifications that describe their densities in approximate ranges, as follows:

Low Density - Limestone having a density ranging from 110 through 135 lb/ft3 (1760 through 2160 kg/m3).

Medium Density - Limestone having a density greater than 135 and not greater than 160 lb/ft3 (2160 through 2560 kg/m3).

High Density - Limestone having a density greater than 160 lb/ft3 (2560 kg/m3).

 

Reference: Dimensional Stone Design Manual, Marble Institute of America

 

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