Limestone topography

The topography of limestone landscapes — the features you can see on the surface, also called landforms or geomorphology — are very characteristic and are created by chemical weathering and erosion.

Chemical weathering

Crummackdale

Chemical weathering results in a number of characteristic solution features in a limestone landscape, such as limestone pavements and dolines (also called sinkholes). This type of landform is called karst.

Erosion features

Thornton Force

Erosional features like waterfalls and blind valleys are created by the movement of broken rock across the land. Erosion has a number of causes, including glaciers and rivers.

There are a number of different kinds of limestone in Britain, but we will concentrate on massive limestone, using the area around Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales as an example to illustrate the landforms.