Cave stalagmites

Cave stalagmites

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Credit: ROBBIE SHONE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cave stalagmites. Cave explorer examining large and fast-growing stalagmites deep underground. These structures are caused by the deposition of calcium carbonate minerals from underground water. The minerals were dissolved from the rocks through which the water flowed to reach this cave, and were then deposited as the water dripped down from the cave ceiling. This is Poole's Cavern, near Buxton, in Derbyshire, UK. Thought to be 2 million years old, this cave has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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