Env Sci Cave Notes


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Env Sci Cave Notes

  1. 1. Cave Notes!<br />
  2. 2. Speleology<br />The science of the study and exploration of caves.<br />It involves many areas of science:<br />Geology (earth)<br />Biology (living things)<br />Cartography (maps)<br />Meteorology (weather)<br />
  3. 3. Speleology<br />Cave science is unique because most of it is done by non-scientists.<br />Spelunkers are people who explore caves simply for fun and adventure.<br />They contribute most of the scientific knowledge about caves!<br />
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  5. 5. Solutional Caves<br />The name refers to the term Solution.<br />A Solution is any solids suspended in a liquid.<br />The rock was formed first, then dissolved by a liquid later.<br />The most common example is a Limestone Cave.<br />Water dissolves and carries limestone!<br />
  6. 6. Solutional Caves<br />There are 2 ways Solutional Caves form:<br />Water dissolves rock. (Ohio Caverns!)<br />Hydrogen Sulfide dissolves rock. (Lechuguilla!)<br />Solutional caves always have formations because the water eventually drops the minerals it is carrying.<br />
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  8. 8. Lava Caves<br />Lava Caves form at the same time the lava is flowing.<br />Volcanic gas leaves “bubbles” in lava.<br />Fresh lava flows can tunnel through old lava flows and drain leaving “tubes”<br />These caves do not always have enough water to support life.<br />
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  10. 10. Sea Caves<br />Sea Caves are always formed by the waves.<br />They can be dry, tidal, or flooded.<br />The amount of water in the cave determines the organisms living there.<br />
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  12. 12. Glacier Caves<br />Glacier Caves are formed from ice, not rock!<br />They are carved by melt water or geothermal heat below the glacier. <br />They are extremely dangerous and unstable.<br />Glacier Caves constantly shift and collapse.<br />Organisms can live in the cave if they can survive it’s changes!<br />
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  14. 14. Cave Ecology<br />Cave Ecology is weird. <br />Each cave can have a unique ecology that evolved just in that cave.<br />The result is organisms and food chains that look nothing like what you are used to.<br />The Sun is not always the source of energy.<br />Sometimes, Cave Ecology is used to predict what alien life might be like!<br />
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  16. 16. Troglobytes<br />Troglobytes are organisms that never leave the cave.<br />They are so specialized and highly evolved that they would die out side of their cave.<br />Troglobytes have:<br />No pigment or eyes!<br />Heightened sense of smell.<br />Ability to detect vibrations or chemical changes.<br />
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  18. 18. Trogloxenes<br />Trogloxenes are cave users!<br />These are the animals that can leave the cave.<br />They use the cave for protection or reproduction.<br />They must leave to find food.<br />Bats are an example of Trogloxenes.<br />
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  20. 20. Cave Formations<br />We are going to study formations in Solutional Caves.<br />All Cave Formations are made when a liquid deposits the minerals it was carrying.<br />In limestone caves, this mineral is Calcite.<br />Most of the names <br />were created by the <br />first caver who saw <br />the formation!<br />
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  23. 23. Stalactites<br />Grow from the cave roof when water starts dripping down.<br />Types of Stalactites:<br />Soda Straws: long, thin, hollow<br />Helicites: Twisted, branching, defy gravity!<br />You can remember Stalactites grow on the roof because they must hold on tight!<br />
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  25. 25. Stalagmites<br />Stalagmites grow on the cave floor when water lands there.<br />Stalagmites can be thin or fat. <br />Sometimes, they just look like lumps!<br />They are usually found under a Stalactite.<br />When a Stalagmite and a Stalactite meet, they form a Column.<br />
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  27. 27. Flow Stone<br />Flow Stone is formed when water is moving slowly over a surface.<br />It can take many forms!<br />Draperies: thin, wavy sheets hanging on the wall.<br />Rimstone Dam: a series of “stair steps” that formed in a moving stream.<br />Cascade: a stone waterfall that formed under a real waterfall.<br />
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  29. 29. Other Types<br />Cave Popcorn looks like it’s name! <br />It was formed by water seeping up through the floor.<br />Frostwork is a coating of crystals on any surface.<br />The crystals are delicate threads that can be any color.<br />Cave Pearls are highly polished spheres.<br />They can only be formed in running streams with the help of specialized bacteria!<br />