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Features found inside caves:
Thin-walled hollow tubes about 1/4" in diameter; soda straws grow from ceilings of caves as water runs down inside them, depositing rings of calcite at their tips. These incredible formations can be over 20,000 years old and reach lengths over 20 feet. Backlit by hidden lights in the cave, each appears to have a tiny diamond suspended from its tip. (If one of these drops of water falls on you, you are said to have received a "cave kiss"). Soda straws are so fragile that sound waves or movements of the air around them can cause them to break and fall.
Twisted formations projecting at all angles from ceilings, walls and over the floor of caves. The over-all formation seems to defy the laws of gravity. Many helicites were growing out from the sides of the soda straws; they look like tiny branches, and geologists cannot explain why they grow up or outward instead of down, the way normal cave formations do.
Formations that hang from cave ceilings and form as layers of calcite are deposited. This occurs when the water flows over the outside of soda straws after the hollow centers become partially, or fully, plugged. Our guide shone his laser pointer on a living, growing (wet) stalactite, and it was translucent; the whole cone-shaped rock lit up. Then he shone his pointer on a "dormant," dry formation, and there was just a small red dot on the surface. The difference was quite dramatic.
Formations that rise from the cave floor and are often, but not always, formed by dripping water from stalactites above. Stalagmites are usually larger in diameter than stalactites, and more rounded on top. As a child, I learned the following mnemonic to keep the two straight: stalactites hold tight to the ceiling; stalagmites might eventually make it up from the floor.
Bacon / Drapery
This formation forms when, over time, water flows down walls, over floors and/ or other formations, and results in a build-up of calcite. The different colored strips are a result of the presence of different minerals, including iron oxide (red rust) in the calcite; other colors include a wide assortment of creams, yellows, and browns.
Formed by the joining of stalactites and stalagmites, or when a stalactite connects with the cave floor or a stalagmite connects with the cave ceiling.
This formation is formed when, over a period of time, water flows down walls, over floors and other formations, and results in a buildup of calcite. In contrast to the "cave bacon" or draperies mentioned above, flowstone is usuall a thicker, heavier buildup. Occasionally water flows over a stalagmite or column, and the resulting formation looks like a tiered wedding cake or a series of trees on a steep hill.
Shields consist of two round or oval parallel plates with a thin medial crack between them. The medial crack is thought to be an important clue to their formation. Shields tend to form in caves with highly fractured limestone (like Lehman). Shields grow at all sorts of angles from the ceiling, wall, and floor of the cave. The most accepted theory for how shields form relates to fractures in the bedrock. Water under hydrostatic pressure moves through thin fractures in the limestone. As it enters the cave passage by means of capillary action, the water deposits calcite on either side of the crack, building plates of calcite with a thin, water-filled crack between them. Shields may be decorated with popcorn or helictites on the top and along the medial crack, and draperies and stalactites on the bottom. Sometimes the speleothems on the bottom plate get too heavy and pull the shield apart.
To log this cache you must:
1) Please post a picture of you or your group at the coords w/ a GPSr in your log (but not required) & E-mail me the following information:
2) What cave feature Lehman Caves is famous for?
3) Approx. how many of these features are inside the cave?
4) Who was the cave mapped by? (See plaque at cave enterance)
5) List the 3 items you CAN take into the cave.
6) Please finish the following: "Out of consideration for other visitors.........."
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum