stalactite


stalactite
   1. Speleothem, generally of calcite, formed by dripping water and hanging from a cave roof. Stalactites embrace an enormous variety of sizes and shapes. They form where percolation water seeps from a cave ceiling and becomes saturated with respect to calcite due to loss of carbon dioxide into the cave air. Calcite is precipitated round the rim of the water droplet and continued deposition creates a hollow tubular straw stalactite (soda straw). Additional deposition of calcite on the outside of the initial cylinder creates an ordinary tapering stalactite. Almost infinite variation in shape may be influenced by changes in water flow, cave air chemistry, evaporation, temperature or dissolved impurities, and by crystal growth blocking flow paths. They are the most common speleothem. Though the single 7m long stalactite in Ireland’s Poll an Ionain is not the world’s longest, it is uniquely spectacular against the dark chamber walls [9].
   2. Conical deposit of calcite or aragonite often with a hollow center hanging from the roof of a cave or cavern formed by precipitation of carbonate due to escape of CO2 from hanging water beads and to evaporation of part of the water [20].
   3. A cylindrical or conical deposit of minerals, generally calcite, formed by dripping water, hanging from the roof of a cave, generally having a hollow tube at its center. From Greek word meaning exude drops [10].
   Synonyms: (French.) stalactite; (German.) Tropfstein, Stalaktit; (Greek.) stalaktitis; (Italian.) stalattite; (Russian.) stalaktit; (Spanish.) estalactita; (Turkish.) sark2t (Yugoslavian.) mosur, viseci kapnik, stalaktit.

A Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology with Special Reference to Environmental Karst Hydrology. . 2002.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • stalactite — [ stalaktit ] n. f. • 1644; du gr. stalaktos « qui coule goutte à goutte » ♦ Concrétion calcaire qui se forme à la voûte d une grotte par l évaporation des gouttes d eau qui filtrent. Stalactites et stalagmites. « Une grotte que les stalactites… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stalactite — Sta*lac tite ( t[imac]t), n.; pl. {Stalactites} ( t[imac]ts). [Gr. stalakto s oozing out in drops, dropping, fr. stala zein to drop: cf. F. stalactite.] (Geol.) (a) A pendent cone or cylinder of calcium carbonate resembling an icicle in form and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stalactite — stalactite, stalagmite A stalactite hangs down from the roof of a cave, and is formed from dripping water containing rich minerals. A stalagmite rises up from the floor and is formed from deposits also caused by dripping. Both words are derived… …   Modern English usage

  • stalactite — (n.) 1670s, Anglicized from Mod.L. stalactites (used 1654 by Olaus Wormius), from Gk. stalaktos dripping, from stalassein to trickle, from PIE root *stag to seep, drip, drop (Cf. Ger. stallen, Lith. telziu to urinate ) …   Etymology dictionary

  • stalactite — ► NOUN ▪ a tapering structure hanging from the roof of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water. ORIGIN from Greek stalaktos dripping , from stalassein to drip …   English terms dictionary

  • stalactite — [stə lak′tīt, stal′ək tīt΄] n. [ModL stalactites < Gr stalaktos, trickling or dropping < stalassein, to let fall drop by drop: see STALE2] an icicle shaped, secondary mineral deposit, usually calcite, that hangs from the roof of a cave and… …   English World dictionary

  • Stalactite — A stalactite (Greek stalaktites , (Σταλακτίτης), from the word for drip and meaning that which drips ) is a type of speleothem (secondary mineral) that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves. It is sometimes referred to as dripstone.… …   Wikipedia

  • stalactite — UK [ˈstæləktaɪt] / US [stəˈlækˌtaɪt] noun [countable] Word forms stalactite : singular stalactite plural stalactites science a long pointed piece of rock that hangs down from the roof of a cave, formed by chemicals in water drops that have fallen …   English dictionary

  • Stalactite — Excentriques, Grotte de Torrinha, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brésil Une stalactite (du grec stalaktos qui coule goutte à goutte ) se forme à la voûte des grottes et des souterrains, ou sous des plafonds ou dalles de béton de mauvaise qualité ou… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • stalactite — See stalactite, stalagmite …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions