Cave of the Mounds - Mineral Essay Example
Cave of the Mounds is a natural limestone cave - Cave of the Mounds introduction. Cave of the Mounds takes its name from the two large hills which have long been Wisconsin landmark features. the two nearby hills are called the Blue Mounds. It is located in the southern slope of the east hills. It is located near Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. What makes Cave of the Mounds special? It’s the quantity and quality of the extraordinary colors left behind by minerals naturally present in the rock. The cave’s beauty comes from its many varieties of mineral.
On August 4, 1939, Cave of the Mounds was accidentally discovered when limestone quarry workers blasted a section of the quarry and exposed an opening to the cave. Work at the quarry then immediately stopped and was never continued. The dynamite blast revealed a limestone cave more than twenty feet high opening into other rooms the Cave had to be closed in order to preserve it. Soon, lights and walkways were installed. In May 1940, Cave of the Mounds was opened to visitors. he Cave of the Mounds begins with the creation of the rock in which the Cave formed. The Cave was formed within limestone. When surface water seeps through the soil and then through the rock, it dissolves small amounts of the limestone. Every droplet of water entering the cave below carries dissolved calcium carbonate. Each drop leaves calcite crystals on the cave ceiling, walls or floor. It can take from 50 to 150 years to deposit one cubic inch of “cave onyx”. The formations come in many different brilliant colors such as reds, browns, blues, and grays.
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The reds and browns are caused by the presence of iron oxide in the formation. Similarly, blues and grays are caused by manganese oxide. Some give off light for a brief period after exposure to another light. Somewhere in the cave, there is a large orthoceras that you can spot. Cave of the Mounds is often referred to as the “jewel box” of America’s major caves because of the variety of color and delicacy of its formations. It’s the most beautiful show caving in the Midwest.