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Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms
Based on "A Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology with Special to Environmental Karst Hydrology" EPA/600/R-02/003, 2002, EPA: Washington, DC., Speleogenesis Glossary includes 2699 cave & karst terms
1. Speleothem, normally of calcite, formed by upward growth from a cave floor, and therefore the complement of a stalactite. Stalagmites form when dripwater that is still saturated falls from a cave roof or stalactite and, when or after it lands, loses more carbon dioxide to the cave air, causing precipitation of calcite. They vary in size and shape, from tall thin towers to wide domes that grade into flowstone, the main controls being drip rate and height, and saturation levels of the water. The stalagmites of Aven Armand, France, are of the multiple splash-cup variety while being notably slender and up to 30m tall. Spectacularly massive stalagmites occur in the Carlsbad and Cottonwood Caves of New Mexico . 2. Columnar or partly irregular deposit of calcite or aragonite on the floor of a cave or cavern formed by the precipitation of carbonates due to escape of CO2 from water dripping from the roof . 3. A deposit of calcium carbonate rising from the floor of a limestone cave, formed by precipitation from a bicarbonate solution through loss of CO2. The water drops on the stalagmite from above. From Greek word meaning drip . Synonyms: (French.) stalagmite; (German.) Bodenzapfen, Stalagmit; (Greek.) stalagmitis; (Italian.) stalagmite; (Russian.) stalagmit; (Spanish.) estalagmita; (Turkish.) dikit; (Yugoslavian.) oulak, stojeci kapnik, stalagmit. See also dripstone.