Jewel Cave Research Paper

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Jewel Cave is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Black Hills were formed during the Tertiary Lamanide Oroginy. (See Figure 2 and 7). The Black Hills are doubly asymmetrical anticlines that are plunging to form a dome. Two rock types are from the Tertiary and the Quaternary period and are starting to intrude into the older rock types. The outer laying rocks are dipping away from the center at an angle with a slope dipping 5 degrees. Jewel Cave’s rock type was formed in the Pennsylvanian-Permian Minnelusa Formation, between the Pennsylvanian and Missippian period. (See Figure 4). Jewel Cave is known as the 2nd longest cave in the world. Nearly 2 miles of Jewel Cave have been discovered, but geologists know there is more to…show more content…
With the increased rainfall, groundwater was rising and being enriched with carbon dioxide due to the high level in the soil. The air at this time, also was enriched with carbon dioxide. As the carbon dioxide evolved, it turned the water into carbonic acid and traveled into joints in the limestone. The Earth’s crust is always flexing and bending, which is why we see so much movement. This caused the sedimentary rocks to be forced down into a bend. Limestone does not bend very well and causes fractures in the limestone, almost at perfect 90 degree angles. After the limestone fractured, the carbonic acid water moved around what is known as Jewel Cave today, and formed the cave. The water slowly drained from the cave, expelling limestone and created the karst…show more content…
Speleothems include draperies, domes, columns, stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone. Jewel Cave has some of these but there seems to be a lot of travertine. They are formed by dripping water in the cave and shows that there is a surface drainage system above where the travertine is forming. Caves usually are very humid, but Jewel Cave sits from about 81 percent to 93 percent. Under these conditions, however, it can be seen that evaporation would take place leaving these deposits of calcium carbonate behind. It can also be seen through the ground water. As the ground water loses carbon dioxide, the water will become less acidic, causing the travertine to be deposited. The most prevalent form of travertine is in the form of flowstone. Flowstone is formed whenever water flows over boulders or ledges and creates layers of travertine. These flowstones usually can be seen in different earthy colors due to the impurities and the clear to white calcite

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