Limestone Extraction in Serra de Aire e Candeeiros
Limestone is, in Portugal, a very well known rock. Used as a finishing material, it is widely used to cover the most recent buildings, particularly in the large metropolis region, but not only that.
Limestone is a chemical sedimentary rock, and in our country it is extracted mainly in the Serra de Aire e Candeeiros region. Its main mineral is calcite. It originates in the marine environment, when it experiences CO2 loss. In the replacement process of this gas there is the formation of calcite and its resulting precipitation. Over the years, limestone is formed, which is excellent for accumulating marine fossils that today show us living beings and other sedimentary structures, reflecting the environmental conditions existing at the time it was formed.
It should also be clarified that we must not confuse limestone with marble. Limestone is generally a sedimentary rock consisting of deposition of sediments from ancient rocks, which later underwent cementation. While marble is a metamorphic rock, which through a physical and chemical process has been transformed, being rather a limestone that has not yet undergone orogenesis.
Portugal was the eighth country in the production of ornamental stones in 2010, it is understood by this that a large part of our economy has to do with the exploration of the subsoil through quarries, many of them existing in the Serra de Aire e Candeeiros located in the geological unit of the Western Meso-Cenozoic Edge, which extends from Espinho to the Serra da Arrábida. The limestone rock in this area usually has light beige tones, with different granules and with several scattered elements.
The uses of limestone today are varied and range from the production of cement, lime to correcting the pH of the soil for the use of agricultural fields, passing through the manufacture of glass, chemical fertilizer and its application as an ornamental stone.
It is concluded that limestone is very important not only for us, but also for the entire national economy. This rock constitutes a large part of the surface of our country, namely on the west coast and surroundings.