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. Limestone was
created as layers of seashells and other organic materials were deposited
by this ancient ocean. Millenniums passed and the ocean receded and the
nearby Guadalupe Mountains were uplifted. Fractures in the reef filled
with salt and fresh water, which mixed with sulfurous gases seeping up
from deep within the earth. This combination created a mild sulfuric acid
that began to dissolved the limestone deposits and form underground caves.
between 2 and 4 million years ago, there were massive uplifts that raised
and tilted to the west this area, now called the Guadalupe Ridge, with
its giant caves. Since that time, water percolating through the ground
into the massive limestone caves has deposited limestone and calcite in
the form of stalagmites and stalagtites, huge columns of stone that hang
from the ceiling or grow upwards from the floor. 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 theground".
huge boulders in the caverns rest where they fell 4 million years ago.