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Dig Into Geology > Rock & Mineral Experiments & Activities  > The Fizz Test for Limestone Rocks

The Fizz Test for Limestone Rocks

Click to Download this Limestone Fizz Test

Many rocks can look alike. Sometimes telling the difference between a limestone or marble and other rocks such as shale and quartzite can be difficult. One way geologists test the rocks is by performing the acid or “Fizz” test.
 
You will need:
  • Household acid such as lemon juice or vinegar (lemon juice works best)
  • Eye dropper or straws
  • Hand magnifier
  • Notebook & Pencil
  • Camera (optional)

Step 1: Gather the samples you want to test. Some good choices are limestone, oolitic limestone, coquina and marble. You should see some “fizzing” with these samples.
Step 2: Before you begin practice focusing your hand magnifier. If you need help read through the “How to Use Your New Sedimentary Rock Kit” on our Dig into Geology section of the website. There is a section on how to focus your hand magnifier.
Step 3: Drop, using a straw or dropper, or pour your acid on one rock sample at a time. Look through your hand magnifier right away to see the bubbles. The bubbles will be small so look closely.

Observe & Document:
Do you see the bubbles? If so, what do they look like? The fizz is telling you that your rock is a limestone or contains calcite like limestone (coquina).

Check it out: Use other samples such as shale, slate, and quartzite to observe samples which should not “fizz.” Mix up your samples and see if you can figure out what they are using the fizz test!

GOOD JOB!

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