Caves and Caverns

A cave is a natural opening in the earth that is big enough for a person or animal to enter. Most caves are formed by the erosive action of rain water or underground water on rocks such as limestone or dolomite. The water contains dissolved carbon dioxide which forms dilute carbonic acid. This acid dissolves the rock, forming passages and large open spaces. Caverns, caves and joint galleries are the result of this process.

            The other types of caves are lava caves, ice caves and sea caves. Lava caves are found near the base of volcanic mountain. Ice caves are formed within glaciers. Sea caves are formed in the coastal rocks by the action of sea waves.

            The early man lived in caves. Even today, some groups of people in Spain and the Philippines live in caves. Kentucky caves in the USA are well known such as the mammoth cave system which is the deepest cave in the world (563, 270 meters) deep and the fisher ridge cave system is the world’s longest cave, about 116 kms long. In India, the Ajanta and Ellora caves are quite popular.

Caverns are formed by the erosive action of rain or underground water
 Caves are formed by the erosive action of rain or underground water

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