I know that there are many kinds of such caves, but I am looking for ones (if they exist, and I don't know) that contain stalagmite and stalactites and are located at high altitude inside a mountain. I also need to know in what kind of mountains they are, and what kind of rocks must be present. Also, can you suggest me a reference book about the topic? I know nearly nothing about geology.

  • $\begingroup$ I have found active formations in caves at the 7000' to 8500' level in caves in the South East portion of British Columbia, but the caves are effectively "fossils" and not actively growing. Cave formation conditions are not necessarily the same conditions the create the formations in the caves. $\endgroup$ – user824 Apr 26 '16 at 22:11

The classic text has long been "Karst Hydrology and Physical Speleology" by Alfred Bogli, - which I highly recommend.

Karstic dissolution and precipitation (to form stalactites, helictites, etc.) are basically hydrologic processes in which groundwater seeks to attain thermodynamic equilibrium with the carbonate rocks with which it is in contact. Water flows downhill towards the base-level of erosion - generally sea level. But bear in mind that during the last glaciation sea level was about -120 metres compared to modern sea level. To get very high mountain karst the system has to develop and then be lofted by other tectonic processes of uplift. In the Jebel Akhdar of Oman there are caves up to about 2 km elevation, but I guess that some limestone massifs have been elevated higher than that.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.