• Lehman Caves

    Great Basin

    National Park Nevada

Gypsum Formations

Gypsum desposits
Gypsum deposits seen off the tour route in Lehman Caves
NPS PHOTO
 
Gypsum Formations seen in the Gypsum Annex

Gypsum Formations were discovered in the Gypsum Annex of Lehman Caves.

NPS PHOTO

Gypsum: a rarity in Lehman Caves
Gypsum formations form in a similar way to calcite speleothems. Gypsum is a mineral, with the chemical formula CaSO4· 2H2O. Basically, it is calcium sulfate with some water attached. Gypsum can take forms known by cavers as snow, flowers, crust, needles, and hairs, depending on the shape. There are no gypsum formations along the tour route, but there are many in the Gypsum Annex. They tend to be white (or colorless), small, and very fragile.

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