Southwest 2016 - Sarah Noble
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Speleothems: stalactites (ceiling), stalagmites (floor) and other cave deposits made chiefly of calcite are called "decorations" or "speleothems."  Speleothems form when groundwater containing calcium bicarbonate solution seeps into the cave.  When the solution becomes exposed to cave air, carbon dioxide gas is released, and calcite is deposited.  "Soda straws" are thin, hollow stalactites formed by dripping water.

Speleothems: stalactites (ceiling), stalagmites (floor) and other cave deposits made chiefly of calcite are called "decorations" or "speleothems." Speleothems form when groundwater containing calcium bicarbonate solution seeps into the cave. When the solution becomes exposed to cave air, carbon dioxide gas is released, and calcite is deposited. "Soda straws" are thin, hollow stalactites formed by dripping water.