American Grotto

Cave Formations


Speleological Preservation and Exploration

Dedicated to the service and protection of God’s Earth through conservation knowledge and adventure.

 

Speleotherms

               Cave formations are typically formed from calcite. When water seeps through the ground, it picks up carbonic acid from carbon dioxide leftover from dead plants and animals. The acidic water dissolves limestone, creating underground cavities. When water hits the air in these cavities, the carbonic acid is released as carbon dioxide leaving the remnants of calcite.

               Despite what many people think, some cave formations can form rather fast; some small formations are often even found in mines.  These formations have been known to grow as large as an inch in about 40 years. While this may seem to be rather slow, it is rather fast compared to the thousands of years some think it takes.

Aragonite
Baldacchino Canopies
Balloons
Bathtubs
Bell Canopies
Blisters
Bottlebrushes
Boxwork
Columns
Conulites
Coralloids
Deflected Stalactites
Draperies
Fibrous forms

Flowstone
Folia
Gypsum Flowers
Halite Flowers
Helictites
Moonmilk
Mud Stalagmites
Pearls
Pool Fingers
Pool Spar
Popcorn
Mammillaries
Rafts
Raft Cones

Rims
Rimstone
Rootsicles
Shelfstone
Shields
Showerheads
Soda Straws
Splattermites
Spar
Speleogens
Stalactites
Stalagmites
Stegamites
Trays