What is a Cave

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 408 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

Words: 408|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

What is a cave? A cave is an underground hollow place large enough for a human to enter. The formation and development of caves are known as speleogenesis, which can occur over the course of millions of years. Caves are formed by various geologic processes and can vary sizes. These may involve a combination of chemical processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, microorganisms, pressure, and atmospheric influences. Isotopic dating techniques can be applied to cave sediments, in order to determine the timescale when geologic events may have occurred to help form and shape present-day caves.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

How, exactly are caves formed? Caves are formed by the dissolution of limestone. Rainwater picks up carbon dioxide from the air and as it percolates through the soil, which turns into a weak acid. This slowly dissolves out the limestone along the joints, bedding planes and fractures, some of which become enlarged enough to form caves.

In cases, there are objects called stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites are attached to the ceiling and stalagmite are on the floor. A stalactite is a tapering structure hanging like an icicle from the roof of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water. A stalagmite is a mound or tapering column rising from the floor of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water and often uniting with a stalactite.

The estimated maximum depth of a cave cannot be more than 3,000 meters or 9,800 ft due to the pressure of overlying rocks. For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the lower limit of karst forming processes, coinciding with the base of the soluble carbonate rocks. Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution.

Caves are classified in various other ways as well, including active vs. relict. Active caves will have water flowing through them while relict caves do not, although water may be retained in them. Types of active caves include inflow caves, outflow caves, and through caves.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

While caves are found throughout the world only a small portion of them have been explored. Documented cave systems have been skewed toward countries were caving has been popular such as France Italy Australia the UK and the United States. As the worlds expanses of soluble bedrock have researched the distribution of documented caves is likely to shift. For example, China contains around half the worlds exposed limestone but has very few documented caves.

Works Cited

  1. Hill, C. A. (2016). A beginner's guide to cave diving: A step-by-step guide for all recreational divers. Independently Published.
  2. Palmer, A. N. (2015). Cave geology. Dayton, Ohio: Cave Books.
  3. Palmer, A. N., & Palmer, M. V. (2015). Speleology: The study of caves. Dayton, Ohio: Cave Books.
  4. Schwartz, B. F., & Schwartz, H. R. (2018). Born to be wild: The caves and karst of Texas. University of Texas Press.
  5. White, W. B. (2016). Karst hydrology: Concepts from the mammoth cave area. CRC Press.
  6. Culver, D. C., & Pipan, T. (2019). The biology of caves and other subterranean habitats. Oxford University Press.
  7. National Speleological Society. (2017). Cave exploration: Basic and advanced techniques. National Speleological Society.
  8. Casteret, N. (2018). Ten years under the earth. Mountaineers Books.
  9. Davies, W. E., & Simpson, E. L. (2018). Karst, caves and caves of England and Wales. Springer.
  10. Hill, C. A. (2017). The human past and the world of caves. Oxford University Press.
Image of Alex Wood
This essay was reviewed by
Alex Wood

Cite this Essay

What is a cave. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from
“What is a cave.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
What is a cave. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 11 Dec. 2023].
What is a cave [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2023 Dec 11]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now