View Full Version : Question about Caves

11-24-2011, 08:01 AM
I tried to google this, but didn't have any luck. Does anyone know how far into a cave someone would have to be before beginning to see stalagmites and stalactites? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Drachen Jager
11-24-2011, 10:03 AM
It really depends on the cave layout more than how deep you are in to the cave. Not within the first 5-10 metres from my experience (which is quite limited mind you), but beyond that it's more about what kind of rock is around and how deep you are (for water seepage).

11-24-2011, 10:16 AM
Google Mammoth Cave. Look at the images and read about the state park. That will provide you with a world of information about cave systems that are full of stalactites and stalagmites. For the most part, it's going to depend on the size of the cave as well as the accessibility of the cave. The water table has to be dripping through the cave system undisturbed for millennia in order to create stalactites and stalagmites--so that pretty much rules out any cave that a human or an animal can get into with ease.

11-24-2011, 05:10 PM
You don't need to go in it at all. In fact, you don't even need a cave! All you need for a stalactite is an overhang with a limestone drip (or the overflow from a hot spring). They're formed because the water evaporates leaving the minerals behind in an icicle type structure (note: you can get them from building materials also, including concrete and lime mortar).

Stalagmites are different in that they are where the drips land and the mineral deposits build up. So you need quite still air (causing them to land in the same place). There is still no reason why they can't form near the entrance of a cave if it is sheltered.

11-24-2011, 05:20 PM
I've seen stalactites on concrete bridges.