The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 37 Number 2: 35-39 - April 1975

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Applelite: A New Calcite Structure From Apple Cave, Orange County, Indiana
Donald W. Ash


A section of the main stream passage in Apple Cave, Indiana contains calcite speleothems on the undersides of several hundred loose rocks within the cave stream. These speleothems are composed of many spindle- or scalenohedron-shaped, crystal-like forms which are composed of even finer-grained crystallites. The crystal-like forms are approximately 60 µm in diameter and 120 µm in length. They posses no optical continuity. The crystallities range in diameter from 1 to 6 µm. These coalesce to give the surface of the applelite a subdued-botryoidal appearance. Two modes of origin are proposed fro the formation of applelite: (1) change in hydrologic regime of waters approximately saturated with respect to calcite, and (2) fixation by heterotropic microflora.

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