Q:

How do caverns form?

A:

Quick Answer

One type of cavern, known as solution caverns, are formed when large portions of limestone beneath the ground disintegrate and dissolve through the action of underground water. Caverns are typically referred to as caves containing numerous passages. However, the two terms are technically synonymous.

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Full Answer

The major classifications of caves include glacier, crevice, solution, erosion and volcanic. Aside from dissolution of bedrocks, other natural processes, such as erosion and gravitational forces also result to the creation of caverns.

The interconnecting chambers within solution caverns often form various patterns, which include branching, anastomotic, spongework, network, ramifying and single-passage. These passages contain different types of minerals that are deposited during cave-formation. Known as "speleothems," these minerals are primarily composed of calcium carbonate.

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