Feb 19, 2016
Compiled by N. Boucher 10/09
What is a cave?A cave is: A hole or tunnel into the earth with an opening to the surfaceCaves are located underground or underwater, mostly in darkness.They are often called caverns.
Rivers and streams sometimes go underground through part of the cave or cavern.They are called sinking streams.
How are Caves Formed?Caves are usually formed in rocks called limestone, marble, or lava. They are usually created by water dissolving limestone (over periods of thousands of years).
Click on the link below to see how a cave is formed.http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1405/es1405page01.cfm?chapter_no=visualization
There are beautiful cave formations found beneath the Earths surface.
They are called stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone.
StalactitesA stalactite grows from the cave ceiling so it has to hold on tite.
StalagmitesA stalagmite grows from the floor (ground) of the cave with all its mite.
Flowstone are sheet-like formations that form on cave walls or ceilings.
Some look like waterfalls.
How big are cave entrances?
Some caves have tiny entrances, others have large entrances. Cave entrances may be hidden by large stones, tree trunks, or plants.
Kinds of CavesNot all caves are the same.
There are 3 main kinds of caves:
Lava caves Sea caves Ice caves
Lava CavesLava caves are tubes that form when molten rock flows away from volcanoes. Cool air causes the rock to harden on the outside, and when all the lava has drained out, the tube becomes a cave.
Sea CavesSea caves are formed by waves crashing on rocky coastlines.
Ice CavesIce caves are formed by water flowing underneath glaciers of ice. Light passing through the ice makes the caves blue.
Who Lives in a Cave?
Troglobites are animals that live in caves. They have little or no color and no eyes.Some creatures live in the cave all the time and others travel in and out of the cave.
Public CavesSome caves are open to the public. They are called "show caves.Howe Caverns is a public cave.
Visiting Howe CavernsAt Howe Caverns, you step into an elevator that takes you 156 feet below the Earth's surface. When the elevator stops, the doors open into a prehistoric underground cavern six million years in the making.
Inside the cavern The air down here in the cavern is different. All year round, the cave maintains: ~ a constant 52 degrees Fahrenheit ~ 70-75% humidity, year round.
Some caves are on private or other land where the general public cannot go. These are called "wild caves.
Entrance to Onesquethaw CaveEntrance to Clarksville CaveWild caves
Knox CaveBerne, New YorkKnox Cave is one of the largest caverns in New York State with many high passages and other natural beauties.
It was used in Dutch Colonial times as a refuge by Indian war parties.
Exploring Knox Cave
What is a spelunker?A spelunker is someone who likes to explore caves.What do you need to go spelunking?A headlamp (and extra batteries)A helmetWarm clothing that is waterproofBootsGlovesFood & water
Cave explorers always go in groups, never alone. If an accident does happen, cavers can help each other or send for rescuers. Joining a caving club is a good way to learn safe caving skills.DANGER!
Caring For Caves
Cave features take thousands of years to grow.
If you touch a stalagmite, stalactite or the wall of the cave, it will stop growing because the oils in your skin will kill it.
A broken stalactite or gypsum flower can't be put back together!
Fascinating Facts Carlsbad Cavern, in New Mexico, is longer than 14 football fields. A series of caverns in Flint Mammoth Cave, Flint, Kentucky, is roughly 190 miles long. The deepest cave in the world, Reseau Jean Bernard, in France, is 5,035 feet deepnearly a mile underground.Carlsbad Cavern
Interested in learning more?Click on the links below to go to some interesting websites about caves.www.caverntours.com/KIDSPAGE_Formations.html (learn about the different kinds of formations inside a cave)http://www.goodearthgraphics.com/virtcave.htm(explore a virtual cave)