Speleothems: A guide to speleothem form and identification

Almost anyone who ever took a cave tour learned the difference between stalactites and stalagmites, but can you tell anthodites from helictites? Moon milk from pool fingers? Bacon from boxwork? Just as illustrated guides help visitors identify flora and fauna of the surface world, Speleothems: A guide to speleothem form and identification provides cave visitors with descriptions and images of over thirty types of natural mineral deposits found in caves. Written by the cave scientists William B. White, Daniel H. Doctor, and Sarah K. Carmichael, this new publication of Karst Waters Institute describes not only the appearance and names of various speleothems, but the chemical (and sometimes biological) processes that create them.

While commonly called “formations” on cave tours, the term “speleothem” was invented in 1952 to distinguish cave deposits from geological strata which are also called “formations.” Readers will learn to classify a wide variety of speleothems by appearance, method of formation, and common geographic locations. Speleothems also provides sources for additional information as well as instruction on how to protect and preserve these rare and delicate cave features.

Budding geologists and curious visitors alike will gain deeper understanding of the magnificent world below in this beautifully illustrated and informative handbook. With durable laminated pages, it is perfect for your next cave visit.

 


An educational addition to any tour cave gift shop.

$17.99
ISBN 978-1-7349768-0-9
39 pages
8½ by 5 inches (spiral bound, laminated, appropriate for field use)

Order copies from Speleobooks:

PO Box 10, Schoharie, NY 12157 or Speleobooks@Speleobooks.com or 518-295-7978


William B. White

William B. “Will” White, a member of the KWI Board since the its formation, has published more than 400 papers on cave and karst research. He is a fellow of the AAAS, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the NSS and spent 40 years teaching geology on the Penn State faculty.

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel H. Doctor

Dan Doctor is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey specializing in karst. His research interests include the hydrology and geochemistry of karst aquifers, assessment of sinkhole hazards, evolution of Appalachian karst landscapes, and paleoclimate records from karst areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah K. Carmichael

Dr. Sarah Carmichael studies “tiny minerals that tell big stories” as a professor of Fluid-Rock Geochemistry and Biomineralogy at Appalachian State University. She became a National Geographic Explorer in 2018 and in 2022 was named one of the Explorers Club 50 – “fifty people changing the world that the world needs to know about.”