• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Speleothems - Calcite Rafts

Calcite rafts floating on the surface of Calcite Lake
Calcite rafts floating on the surface of Calcite Lake
NPS Photo by Dave Schnute
 
Calcite rafts are thin sheets of calcite that today are precipitating and floating on the surface of Calcite Lake in the deepest part of the cave. The thin rafts float on the surface due to surface tension before eventually sinking when they become too heavy or when the pool is disturbed. Calcite rafts which litter the floor of some dry areas of the cave are evidence that these passages were once flooded too.
 

More Speleothems:
Boxwork | Cave Popcorn |
Dogtooth Spar | Flowstone/Dripstone | Frostwork |
Gypsum Features | Helictite Bushes

Click here to see a program about the formations of Wind Cave

Did You Know?

Prairie Dog Barking

Lewis and Clark, while on their journey up the Missouri River in 1804, noted that this "wild dog of the prairie...appears here in infinite numbers." More...