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 Most groundwater contains some acid
(carbonic acid)
 Leaves groundwater slightly acidic and
can dissolve some types of rocks
 Mainly limestone
I. Limestone dissolves but precipitates
(reforms) elsewhere
II. Cave – natural underground opening
with a connection to Earth’s surface
- Some are dry, others flooded
- Practically all big caves are formed
when groundwater dissolves limestone
- Most develop in Zone of Saturation
- Cracks become larger, water table drops
III. Cave Deposits
a. stalactites – hang from the ceiling
(c = ceiling)
b. stalagmites – build from the
bottom up
c. dripstone column – forms when
stalactites and stalagmites meet
Dripstone column
 Limestone regions with sinkholes
(collapsed ground) and sinking streams
(run from surface into cave systems)
 Ex. Kentucky