Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 67 Number 2: 125-126 - August 2005

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Comet Cones: A variety of cave cone from Fort Stanton Cave, New Mexico
Victor J. Polyak and Paula P. Provencio


The name “comet cones” is suggested for a variety of cave cone, after their physical likeness with the images of comets. The comet cones of Fort Stanton Cave are constructed of millimeter-sized calcite cave rafts. A pre-existing stream environment is responsible for the small size of the rafts as well as the development of a “comet” tail on the cones. Drips from condensate water sank the rafts and formed the cones.

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