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