Science With Sabrina: Cave Formations

On last week’s Science With Sabrina, we took you inside a cave to learn about its weather. This week, Meteorologist Sabrina Bates heads underground for a second time to teach us what’s unique inside a cave. Check it out!

We're back in a cave to learn more about how earth works around us in this week's science lesson.

The caves in the Ozarks are made from sedimentary rock. In this cave, that rock is limestone. It's primarily composed of the mineral calcite. The actual molecules are known as calcium carbonate. 

The cave features and formations that develop from these minerals are called speleothems. It takes longer to grow than you may think.

The most known formations are stalactites and stalagmites. These grow less than a centimeter every hundred years.

As water drips, the calcite begins to grow larger. It eventually forms a stalactite on the ceiling. Over time, the water dripping from the end of the stalactite falls to the floor of the cave. It deposits calcite into a mound. This is known as a stalagmite.

Although the chemistry isn’t exactly the same, the mineral calcite in the cave is also used in concrete and as an acid neutralizer. Don't limit yourself to caves! There's so much science in nature around us to learn about. Learning about science where you live, I'm 5NEWS Meteorologist Sabrina Bates. 

Segment Sponsored By: Sylvan Learning


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