Cave Minerals of the World

Carol Hill
Palo Forti


Cave Minerals of the World, second edition, is a book about cave minerals and speleothems. A "speleothem" is a secondary mineral deposit formed by a physico-chemical reaction from a primary mineral within the cave environment. The term speleothem refers to the mode of occurrence of a mineral and not to its composition. In this second edition, the classification of speleothems is based primarily on morphology (i.e., what the speleothem looks like) and secondarily on origin and crystallography (fabric). Speleothems are divided into types, subtypes, and varieties and the rationalization for this three-fold division is explained. Thirty-eight "official" speleothem types (e.g., stalactites, stalagmites, helictites) are identified and described. These types are presented in alphabetical order (i.e., starting with anthodites and ending with tubes). Subtypes and varieties of types are described within