Latest Stalactite Stories
Geologists say a discovery in a cave near Jerusalem suggests climate change may have caused the fall of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Geochemical analysis of a stalagmite from Soreq Cave in the Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve reveals increasingly dry weather from A.D. 100 to A.D.
A calcite formation named Snowy River could prove a gold mine for scientists. Snowy River, believed to be the largest continuous calcite formation in the world, was discovered in September 2001 by a Bureau of Land Management team led by veteran speleologist John McLean of Colorado.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate). The primary source of this calcite is usually marine organisms. These organisms secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors as pelagic ooze (see lysocline for information on calcite dissolution). Secondary calcite may also be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters (groundwater that precipitates the material in caves). This produces speleothems such as stalagmites...