• Bristlecone Pine

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

Flowstone

Flowstone seen in profile

A profile, or side view of flowstone deposits near the exit tunnel

NPS PHOTO

Flowstone: Waterfalls of Stone
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?

Lexington Arch

Great Basin National Park is home to Lexington Arch, one of the largest limestone arches in the western United States. This six-story arch was created by the forces of weather working slowly over the span of centuries. This type of above ground limestone arch is rare.