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Transcript of Mammoth Cave
The Making of a Cave
Rain water, acidified by carbon dioxide in the soil, seeped downward through millions of tiny cracks in the limestone layers .As rainwater continued to enter the system and more limestone was dissolved, the microcaverns became bigger. New underground drains formed at levels lower than the older ones, and the older channels emptied. The Green River eroded most of the sandstone to create the cave.
The cave contains speleothems. Although these speleothems seem to grow magically from the walls, ceiling, and floors, they are actually formed by the processes of dissolution and precipitation. They are mostly made of Calcium Carbonate. Carbonate speleothems, such as stalactites, are deposited in passages where there is no sandstone
Mammoth Cave is located in south central Kentucky.
This is the longest recorded cave system in the world, with more than 348 miles explored and mapped.
Geologists estimate that there could be as many as 600 miles of yet undiscovered passageways.
Mammoth Cave is made up of sandstone-capped ridges
"Mammoth Cave National Park." - UNESCO World Heritage Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/150>.
"Mammoth Cave National Park - National Geographic." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/mammoth-cave-national-park/>.
"Mammoth Cave National Park Information Page - National Parks." National Parks. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.mammoth.cave.national-park.com/info.htm>.
"Mammoth Cave Online - the most complete resource for travel information on the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky.." Mammoth Cave Online - the most complete resource for travel information on the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky.. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.mammothcave.com/>.
United States. National Park Service. "Mammoth Cave National Park (U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 5 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm>.
Cave Formation Continued
The shape of the speleothems depends on where and how fast water enters a cave passage. Soda straw stalactites form on the ceiling by slowly dripping water. Fast-dripping water loses still more carbon dioxide as it falls and deposits a tiny bit of calcium carbonate on the floor to
accumulate as a stalagmite growing upward.
It is the most extensive and diverse cave ecosystem in the world, with over 200 species, mostly invertebrate, indigenous to the network of caves, with 42 species adapted to life in total darkness.
Weird and interesting facts
In 1841, cave owner Dr. John Croghan believed the cave air might cure his patients suffering from tuberculosis. He brought 16 patients into Mammoth Cave that winter and housed them in stone and wood huts. After some perished, they left the cave, for of course the cave air offered no cure.
Even More Cave Formations!!!!
Curly, tangled-looking spaghetti calcite formations called helictites can be seen on some of Mammoth Cave's ceilings and walls. Mammoth Cave is also home to gypsum formations knows as "gypsum flowers." Gypsum flowers are curved accumulations of fibrous crystals that resemble flowers. Delicate gypsum needles occur in the cave. Mammoth Cave is a living cave as formations continue to grow.
Breath Taking Pictures!!