Friday, May 8, 2015

Carlsbad Caverns - Natural Entrance

Who knew there was such beauty in the middle of nowhere?  

Carlsbad Caverns is a must see place if you are near Carlsbad NM. Beneath the rugged desert, rocky slopes and deep canyons that make up Carlsbad Caverns National Park, lies an underground treasure including more than 117 known caves

Until 1932, visitors to the cavern had to walk down a switch back ramp-sidewalk that took them 750 feet  below the surface. The walk back up was tiring for a lot of visitors. In 1932 the National Park opened up a large visitor center building that contained two elevators that would take visitors to the caverns below.

While a young boy, Jim White saw what he thought was smoke bellowing in a distance.  Little did he know what he was about to discover.  

This is called the "In the Whales Mouth"

Click on the above photo to enlarge.

You can see the many holes formed where acid dissolved the rock.

This is called the "Lion's Tail."

Stalactites, stalagmites and other cave deposits made chiefly of calcite are called decorations or speleothems, 

While a young boy, Jim White explored the cavern with his homemade wire ladder.

Here you can see how over the thousand of years the formations become one.

Changes in the ambient air temperature and rainfall affect the rate of growth of speleothems, as higher temperatures increase carbon dioxide production rates within the overlying soil. Color of speleothems is determined by the trace constituents in the minerals of the formation.  

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