Limestone of the Yucatan

 
 
You can think of the Peninsula as a big slab of limestone gently slanting into the sea. The farther south you go, the more likely you are to encounter low hills. By the same token, you must travel far offshore before you reach deep water.
— Jim Conrad
 
 

About 65 million years ago a large asteroid or comet hit the part of the Earth that later would be occupied by the northwestern Yucatan Peninsula. The present capital city of the Yucatan, Merida, lies inside that zone. Today the impact zone is referred to as the Chicxulub Crater though there is no crater or any other obvious evidence of the impact to be seen. The impact’s crater is buried beneath 65 million years of sediment, much of which now has solidified to limestone.

 
 
ILLUSTRATION BY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY, SCIENCE SOURCE

ILLUSTRATION BY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY, SCIENCE SOURCE

This is an artist rendering of the southwest portion of the buried Chicxulub impact crater in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The radar image was acquired on orbit 81 of space shuttle Endeavour on April 14, 1994.

It is this impact crater that has been linked to a major biological catastrophe where more than 50 percent of the Earth’s species, including the dinosaurs, became extinct. The 180- to 300-kilometer-diameter (110- to 180-mile) crater is buried by 300 to 1,000 meters (1,000 to 3,000 feet) of limestone.

The bedrock limestone was formed in shallow seas throughout the Cretaceous era dating 146 – 65 million years old. During the Oligocene era, 33.7 to 23.8 million years ago, the entire slab of limestone began to be slowly lifted out of the sea, and formed what is now the peninsula of Yucatan.

Much of the outcropping limestone in the northern Yucatan is part of the Carrillo Puerto Formation of Miocene and Pliocene age. The Miocene and Pliocene are often considered as having occurred from 23.8 to 1.8 million years ago. Along much of the Yucatan coastline you find Quaternary deposits 1.8 million years old and younger.

 

 
 

 

Our Stone

 
 
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Macedonia

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Uxmal

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Calico

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Ostra

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Sisal

 
 

 
 
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Macedonia Limestone

Within our industry this limestone is recognized by several names including Crema Maya, Maya Kream, and Crema.

Macedonia Limestone is a light, rich creamy stone with highlights and veining in gold, brown, and warm grey. The natural color of the stone works well with a warm or cool palette. Depending on the size of the piece, the marbling can range from very active to virtually none, producing a solid cream color with no veining depending on where the slice occurs. Unlike most quarried stones, this stone is extracted from the earth in large boulders

Macedonia is a very hard stone ranging on the Mohs scale of 6 to 7, comparible to most marbles. It has an extremely low porosity with a coefficient of absorption ranging less than 2% and it is frost resistant. The material is suitable for practically every use from high traffic flooring to the most elaborate carving and detail.

The finishes available are honed, polished, split face/natural cleft, bush hammered, & sand blasted


 
 
 
 
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Uxmal Limestone

Within our industry this limestone is also recognized by several names including Tikul stone, Ticul, and Ticul Uxmal Marble. The phonetic pronunciation of Uxmal is “Oosh-mall”.

Uxmal Limestone is a terra cotta color. Some pieces will be lively with color variation and some will be solid color with no activity. Very much like Macedonia veining and mottling are the result of where the stone is sliced.

The stone has the same technical characteristics as Macedonia wherein it scales 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness comparable to most marbles. It too has an extremely low porosity with a coefficient of absorption of less than 2% and it is frost resistant. It is suitable for practically every use from high traffic flooring to the most elaborate carving and detail.

The visual design elegance of this stone is its rich natural earth tones. It compliments wood, fabrics, and many design materials.


 
 
 
 
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Calico Limestone

This stone is unique to Bella Dura.

Calico Limestone has a light beige background with splotchy random shapes, much like water spills, ranging in color from light brown, to gold, to creamy which is lighter than the background. The colors will work anywhere a light travertine would be used.

Calico is a very hard stone comparable to most marbles (between 6 and 7 on ths Mohs scale. It is very dense with a low absorption and is frost resistant. It is suitable for almost all uses from paving for heavy traffic areas and high relief carving.

The finishes available are honed, polished, bush hammered, and sand blasted.


 
 
 
 
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Ostra Limestone

Within our industry this limestone is recognized by several names including Ostion Stone, Ostra Shellstone, and Shellstone.

Ostra Limestone is a light in color shell stone featuring large shells and fossils with distinctive voids in the surface. Designing with this stone is a delight as it provides a natural beautiful and lively texture to any application. We recommend the cross-cut for flooring and the shell-cut for vertical surfaces.

Ostra is the best exterior paving material we offer for sunny, hot climates as it has the very unusual feature of virtually holding no heat. Your feet will not burn and your environment will remain cooler as it reflects rather than absorbing and radiating heat. Ostra Limestone is ideal for areas such as pool decks.

Unlike many other shellstones, ours is a very hard materials and has been laboratory tested to comply with ASTM building standards. Surpassing other shellstones, it is Frost Resistant.


 
 
 
 
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Sisal Limestone

Within our industry this limestone is recognized by several names including Conchuela, Coquina, Coquina Shellstone, and Cokina Shellstone. The phonetic pronunciation is “See-sall”.

Sisal Limestone is distinguished by very small fossils of coquina shells. Creamy in color, it is useful for carving fountains and other vertical elements. This stone is not hard enough for commercial traffic areas and is not frost resistant. If climate is subject to freezing temperatures, the Sisal Limestone is suitable for climate controlled residential and commercial architectural details.