Draperies

draperies
Cave Draperies seen above the trails in Lehman Caves

NPS PHOTO

Draperies: Hanging Decorations
Draperies from from the same chemical process as statactites, but in this case, the water does not get a chance to drip from the ceiling. Instead, draperies form when calcite-rich water runs down an overhanging wall. The concept of surface tension is what keeps the water trapped against the cave walls, and drop after drop flowing in the same location has the potential to create pretty impressive displays of draperies. In Lehman Caves, draperies can be seen throughout both cave tours, but are seen in most abundance in the Music Room, where a collection of draperies is said to resemble the pipes of a musical organ.
 
Cave bacon
Cave Drapery resembling a piece of bacon

NPS PHOTO

Draperies that are striped from varying amounts of impurities are also called cave bacon. The most common mineral impurity seen in cave bacon is iron oxide, or a simple rust deposit.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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