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Fermanagh's Marble Arch Caves demonstrate the power of chemical weathering. Rainwater that percolates through the surface slowly erodes the limestone rock below, hollowing out vast caverns. The limestone rock tells a tale of a warmer climate; it preserves the fossilised skeletons of corals and sea sponges that lived in an ancient tropical sea.
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First broadcast:
31 March 2008

Classroom Ideas

Students could do a card-sort with say 9 -10 cards to show the sequence of events leading to creation of the present-day landscape of Fermanagh. Starting with a tropical sea - sea teeming with life; sea creatures dying and sinking to the ocean floor; layers of sediment covering them; sediments turn into rocks such as limestone; creatures turn into fossils; earth movements push ocean floor up; exposed rocks eroded into mountain peaks rainwater creates underground caves. This could be followed by a task whereby the students label the characteristic features of a limestone cave system on a diagram or photo.

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