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Solution weathering, Yorkshire

As rain falls, it dissolves small amounts of carbon dioxide from the air, forming a weak acid that is able to dissolve limestone. It dissolves even more carbon dioxide as it seeps through the soil.

The acidic water, seeping into joints (cracks) in the rock gradually widens them and may produce “limestone pavements” like this one. As it sinks further, the water may begin to flow through the rock along larger joints and bedding planes, eventually widening them out to form cave systems.

This type of limestone scenery is often called “Karst” after a famous chemically weathered limestone area in Slovenia, southern Europe.

Malham pavement, Yorkshire

Malham pavement, Yorkshire
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