- The forms of precipitation and deposition of calcium carbonate as calcite or aragonite form the generically called speleothems. Their diversity is reflected through shapes, sizes, site of generating, etc. The abundance and variety of speleothems gives a cave beauty, attractiveness and uniqueness, which are the defining issues that necessitate theirs preservation. Speleothems are formed from the precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), accompanied by the release of carbon dioxide from solution. Thus, by recrystallization, arise a variety of shapes composed of mineral called calcite. Sometimes, under favorable conditions of temperature and pressure, calcium carbonate precipitated in the form of aragonite.
The most common types of speleothems are:
- Dripstone: Stalactites, Stalagmites, Columns
- Flowstone: Draperies or curtains, Rimstone dams or gours, Stone waterfall formations simulate frozen cascades
Special forms of speleothems are:
- Cave crystals: Dogtooth spar, Frostwork, Moonmilk, Anthodites, Cryogenic calcite crystals,
- Speleogens like Pillars, Scallops, Boneyard, Boxwork
- and others like – Cave pearls, Cave popcorn, Snottites, Calcite rafts
- The forms of corrosion result from the action of acidic water on limestone under certain conditions of temperature and pressure.
Limestone shows various forms of corrosion such as scallops: spoon-shaped hollows dissolved in cave walls, ceilings, and floors by flowing water.