Carlsbad Caverns
The massive travertine speleothems, particularly the great stalagmites of the Big Room, reflect the great antiquity of the cavern. The great monument-like stalagmites formed over thousands of years, as water slowly dripped, splashed, flowed, and dried, leaving behind a trace of calcite (travertine) with each drop. Many of these massive speleothems formed long ago, and are now dry and isolated from their original water source. For a recent geology trail guide to public trails in Carlsbad Caverns, see Queen and Hose, 2006).
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Last modified: 1/6/2011