Cave PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Apr 19, 2022

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A cave, sometimes known as a cavern, is a natural void in the ground that is large enough for a human to enter. Caves are formed by rock weathering and can be found deep underground. Though strictly speaking, a cave is exogene, meaning it is deeper than its entrance is broad, and a rock shelter is endogene, the word cave may also apply to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos.

Speleology is the discipline of exploring and studying caves and cave environments in all of its features. Caving, potholing, or spelunking are all terms for visiting or exploring caverns for fun.

Speleogenesis is the process of cave formation and development that can take millions of years to complete. Caves come in many sizes and are produced by a variety of geological processes. Chemical reactions, water erosion, tectonic forces, microbes, pressure, and atmospheric effects may all be involved. Cave sediments may be used to establish the timeline of the geological processes that produced and molded today’s caves using isotopic dating methods.

Due to the pressure of surrounding rocks, a cave cannot be more than 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) vertically beneath the surface. However, because the quantity of rock above the lowest point is dependent on the geography of the terrain above it, there is no maximum depth for a cave measured from its highest entrance to its lowest point. The maximum depth of karst caves is governed by the bottom limit of karst formation processes, which coincides with the base of the soluble carbonate rocks. The majority of caves are produced by disintegration of limestone.


Caves can also be classed in other ways, such as active vs. relict caves: active caverns have water flowing through them, whereas relict caves do not, but water may be maintained in them. Inflow caverns (“where a stream descends”), outflow caves (“where a stream emerges”), and through tunnels are examples of active caves (“traversed by a stream”).

Speleothems at Ogof Craig an Ffynnon’s Hall of the Mountain King, a solutional cave in South Wales.

The most common caves are solutional caves, often known as karst caves. These caves originate in soluble rock, the most common of which is limestone, although they can also form in chalk, dolomite, marble, salt, and gypsum. Natural acid in groundwater dissolves rock when it seeps through bedding planes, faults, cracks, and other similar characteristics. Cracks grow larger over time, eventually becoming caverns and cave systems.

Solutional caves in limestone are the biggest and most numerous. Rainwater and groundwater that are charged with H2CO3 (carbonic acid) and naturally occurring organic acids dissolve limestone. Sinkholes and subsurface drainage are common features of the karst landform created by the dissolution process. Calcium carbonate structures formed by gradual precipitation are commonly seen in limestone caves. Flowstones, stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, soda straws, and columns are examples. Speleothems are secondary mineral formations found in caves.

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