Virtual Cave

Solutional Cave


Phytokarst is a phenomenon where speleothems or speleogens orient towards sunlight coming from a cave entrance. They may be depositional or may be pinnacles formed in bedrock that orient towards the sunlight. In the case of depositional speleothems (top photo), green moss or algae are often seen growing on the formations. The bedrock type is shown in the 3 lower images from Hang Son Doong in Vietnam. These examples had red patches of bacterial growth that cause them to dissolve the bedrock in a manner that leaves small fingers pointing toward sunlight.

AUTHOR: Dave Bunnell