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Free standing Stalactites

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,808 ✭✭✭ thelad95

    I need to know this as part a Leaving Cert Geography essay on dripstone.

    Why do free-standing stalactites form without a stalacmite underneath? Any help would be appreciated.


  • Is there a river underneath it?

  • There are a few reasons I can think of. Why wouldn't a stalagmite form (note that stalagmite is spelt with a g)? It has to be because the water dripping from the overlying stalactite is not getting the opportunity to deposit the calcite it carries.

    There could be a pool of water or a river underneath. Maybe it is being deposited, but is being worn down immediately, e.g by animals living in the cave (particularly likely if it's close to the entrance).

    Maybe the ground has a steep slope, and the drops simply run away. Or maybe there's a crevice, and the water is disappearing into that.

  • Thanks guys. Would either of you know specifically how the free standing stalactite in Doolin cave Co.Clare formed. Is there a river running underneath that?