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Mysterious Life of Caves

How Caves Form


Caves homepage

Cave-Making Agent: Waves

Waves crashing against the base of a cliff can sometimes form a sea cave.

illustration: waves at shoreline

Sea caves form along a crack in a rock or an area where the rock is softer.

Because the abrasive action of waves is concentrated at the base of the cliff, an overhang forms. This effect is more pronounced when the rock beds that comprise the cliff are slanted.

illustration: cross-sectional view of sandstone cliff; waves crashing into base of cliff, forming the sea cave

Sea caves are typically found in sandstone but also appear in other types of sedimentary rock, including limestone. They are less commonly formed in harder rock such as granite.

Choose another way that caves can form.

illustration: water seeps to water table and through cracks in the limestone

Intro | Rainwater | Waves | Lava | Bacteria

Rainwater Rainwater

Waves Waves

Lava Lava

Bacteria Bacteria

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