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Caves & Climate

Caves are protected spaces or natural rooms. In these tooms, the climate might be different from outside:

  • in underground caves, there is no wind but water shapes the rocks,

  • in open caves close to the surface, wind can only enter from selected directions.  

Modern Description

This term designates all types of hollow spaces in rocks. There are caves at entrance level and also caves that are in the underground and to which underground corridors are leading. The latter ones are designated with the special term “cavern” which also had an equivalent in ancient Greek and Latin.

Feengrotten (Germany) 
photograph: SMH 2022



A cavern is a huge underground cave.

The weather in underground caves basically depends on the amount of rain at the surface. The more rain. the more water reaches the earth and rocks at the ceiling of caverns. As the water has to pass many layers of ground, it is enriched with sediment material when it reaches the surface of the cavern's ceiling. 

The minerals in the water leave shares behind when the water drops from the ceiling of caverns or glides along its walls. This forms colourful structures of rock inside the cavern and in case of cool temperature (in ice caves), this forms impressing structures of more or less colourful & gigantic ice cones or curtains of them.    

Onondaga Cave (USA) 
photograph: SMH 2017

Stalagmites+ Stalagtites


  • stalagmites grow up from the ground

  • stalagtites grow down from the ceiling

When the water that drops from ceilings or roofs has mineral ingredients, this material can form sediments (a) on the ground and (b) the ceiling or roof. The condition is that the water always takes the same path. 

The little hills on the ground and cones at the ceilings that are formed of sediments are called stalagmites and stalagtites respectively. They emerge in natural caves as well as man-made buildings like bridges and houses.

Onondaga Cave (USA) 
photograph: SMH 2017


Feengrotten (Fairy Cave, Germany) 
photographs: SMH 2022

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