How do caves Form??
  • They can form from dissolution, erosion, or gravitational breakdown (collapse).


A cave forming by a sea.
A cave forming by a sea.
The forming of Caves...When caves are in the forming stage in the Earth's crust there is one way that the caves will form; from the groundwater dissolving away at the chemicals in the ground. This is the most common way that caves are formed. It has been proven by studies in the past that the limestone that is in the earth has a chemical called Calcite (which is a very weak bond), and this is the chemical that is broken down by the groundwater. Whenever the area recieves rain that rain has a litle amount of Carbon Dioxide and this then flows down into the soil in the ground. From there the water leaks into the limestone and since the limestone is vulnerable to get this the stone then begins to break down. The amount that it takes for a cave to form to be large enough for humans to be able to walk through is around 100,000 years. Most caves are formed around the zone of saturation in the limestone. So basically it forms its own pocket, and begins to form there. The process of the caves forming can be sped up from the water pocket being all in one and the sides will break open more from the water pushing on all the sides. From this happening the time it takes to form a larger cave will be a shorter time.




Fig. 1: Rainwater mixes with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and soils to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), which acts to dissolve away limestone.
Fig. 1: Rainwater mixes with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and soils to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), which acts to dissolve away limestone.

How Caves are beneficial to the Earth... Humans: Humans use caves to not only take a trip to see its natural beauty, but also to buy and use products that are made in the bottom of a cave. One product that is beneficial to humans in the natural water that is in the bottom of a cave. Many people will use the water for agriculture and even domestic use. Also people will mine in caves for granite, marble, salt, and fertilizer for plants that the cave provides.



Marble that is found in some caves.
Marble that is found in some caves.
Scientists: Scientist also have a use for caves as well as humans do. They go inside caves to study the different species of animals that live in caves. They are of interest because they live in a level that is below the pH balance like the other animals on the land. One special thing that they are looking for is ways to cure cancer and malaria, because they believe they may be able to help.



Scientist exploring a cave.
Scientist exploring a cave.
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