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Carlsbad, New Mexico Carlsbad, New Mexico Carlsbad, New Mexico Carlsbad, New Mexico Carlsbad, New Mexico Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad, New Mexico

Amazing Cavern Facts

Giant Column in Carlsbad's main cavern.

The roof of the main cavern soars 256feet (78m) high. The room is so vast that it could hold fourteen stadiums the size of the Astrodome!

250 million years ago, the mountains that Carlsbad is nestled in were a giant ocean reef called Capitan Reef by Geologists. Through the ages the ocean receded and the nearby Guadalupe Mountains were uplifted. Fractures in the reef filled with salt and fresh water mixed with sulfurous gases seeping up from deep within the earth combine to create a mild sulfuric acid that began to dissolved the limestone which was created by millenniums of seashells and other organic materials being laid down in this ancient ocean.

Exploring lower cavern.

Somewhere between 2 and 4 million years ago, there were massive uplifts that raised and tilted to the west the Guadalupe Ridge with its massive caves. Since that time, water percolating through the ground has deposited limestone and calcite in the form of stalagmites and stalagtites . A good memory trick to remember the difference in these terms is "Stalagtites hang tight to the ceiling, while stalagmites grow into a mound on the ground".

The huge boulders in the caverns rest where they fell 4 million years ago.

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