Solution Caves

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cave formations
Cave formations in a mostly dry pool in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. New Mexico.

NPS Photo by Ronal C. Kerbo.

Introduction

These caves are formed by the dissolving of the rock along and adjacent to joints (fractures), faults, and layers in the rock. The processes involved are both chemical corrosion and physical erosion. Solution caves are most often found in rock types such as limestone, marble, and gypsum and are associated with karst landscapes.

 

Speleothem Formation

 
Series of generalized cross-sectional views of speleothem formation.

Illustration by Trista L. Thornberry-Ehrlich, Colorado State University.

 

Solution Caves in Parks

The following is a partial list of National Park Service units that include solution caves:

 
 

Last updated: December 17, 2018

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