Flowstone is one of the most common forms of cave formations, and is found throughout Lehman Caves. Usually, flowstone is composed of calcite, but can also be formed by other carbonate minerals. The formation process involves water flowing along the walls or over the floor of a cave passageway, creating sheetlike deposits of calcite in the wake of the water.
Minerals including calcium carbonate, aragonite, gypsum, and other minerals are dissolved in teh water and are despoited when the water degasses and releases carbon dioxide. The flowstone forms when thin layers of these deposits build up over time. Flowstone can easily be seen along the guided tours in the Wedding Chapel, The Lodge Room, and along the exit tunnel, where blasting has given us an idea of what flowstone looks like in profile.
Did You Know?
Precipitation patterns are highly variable in Great Basin National Park. The wettest year on record at Lehman Caves was 21.2 inches of precipitation in 1982 and the driest year was 7.4 inches in 1953.