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Naracoorte Caves National Park

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Naracoorte Caves NP
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• Wonambi Fossil Centre
  > Mega-Fauna
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  > Speleothems

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Naracoorte - Cities, Towns and Localities
Part of the 800,000 year old Naracoorte East Range, the Naracoorte Caves are a palaeontologists delight, containing an extensive fossil record that date back over 500,000 years. The caves have acted as pitfall traps and predator dens, trapping animals that roamed the area over several ice ages.

There are 26 known caves in the park, many containing spectacular examples of stalactites and stalagmites. The fossil finds in these caves have been excavated and dated, with a number of skeletons being reconstructed, providing an unique display of the megafauna that once inhabited this area.

There are a number of cave tours, that provide a taste of this fascinating cave system. Tours range from easy to adventure, with some accessible by wheelchair.

Speleothems - Alexandra Cave

Following images are courtesy of Naracoorte Caves NP

Speleothems.Speleothems

Stalactites, stalagmites, columns, helectites, curtains and flowstones are different types of calcite formations found in limestone caves. Collectively they are called ‘speleothems’. These can form anywhere in a cave where water is passing through the limestone, absorbing carbon dioxide and dissolving minute amounts of calcium carbonate (limestone) and depositing it as calcite in the cave.

The type of speleothems that form are determined by how fast the water drips, where it drips, the cave microclimate, carbon dioxide content of the air and even the shape of the cave. Although all the caves at Naracoorte have some speleothems, the most outstanding examples can be seen in Alexandra Cave.

 

Speleothems.

Straws, Alexandra Cave.
Straws, Alexandra Cave.
Flowstone in Alexandra Cave.
Flowstone in Alexandra Cave.
Early 1900s visitors to Alexandra Cave.
Early visitors to Alexandra Cave ฉ G W Davidge
Alexandra Cave was discovered in 1908 and was opened for guided tours in 1909 by Governor Bosanquet. With over 2,000 people attending, this is the largest crowd that has ever gathered at Naracoorte Caves.
Stalactites.
Stalactites.
Column.
Column.
Stalagmite.
Stalagmite.
Shawl.
Shawl.
 
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