A stalagmite is the stalactite growing up from the floor of a cave , its counterpart is the stalactite hanging from the ceiling (donkey bridges see stalactite). From stalagnate is when both types are grown together.
A stalagmite is a speleothem in which dripping carbonated water, which calcite deposits, creates a stalactite that can take on various shapes. The intensity of the drip point, but also the height of the dropping water and the nature of the soil have an influence on the shape of the stalagmite.
A distinction is made between the evenly slender candle stalagmites and the cone-shaped palm stem stalagmites. The candle stalagmites are created by an even supply of solution and can reach a height of several meters with a small diameter. The cone-shaped stalagmites are created by a very strong infiltration of water and can have a diameter of several meters at the base, such as the millionaire in the Sophienhöhle .
The height of fall, in turn, has an impact on the upper end of the stalactite. A rounded end is created when the water falls low; as the height of fall increases, the end becomes flatter and in extreme cases can be curved inward.
Furthermore, there are stalactite shapes that deviate from these basic values, such as a stalagmite in the Schulerloch , the tip of which is shaped as a water basin, or the Vesuvius in the Eberstadt stalactite cave , which was formed by carbonated water, but is now slowly being removed again by carbonated water.
The analysis of stalagmites can chronologically record the deposition process and thus allow conclusions to be drawn about paleoclimatology and vegetation history.
- Stephan Kempe: World full of secrets - caves . Series: HB Bildatlas special edition. Edited by HB Verlags- und Vertriebs-Gesellschaft, 1997, ISBN 3-616-06739-1
- Hardy Schabdach: The Sophienhöhle in Ailsbachtal - a wonder world underground. Verlag Reinhold Lippert, Ebermannstadt 1998, ISBN 3-930125-02-1 .
- Alison J. Blyth, Andy Baker, Asfawossen Asrat, Paolo Montagna, Melanie J. Leng, Malcolm McCulloch, Jon Watson: Decoupling vegetation and climatic records using lipid biomarkers preserved in stalagmites - Abstract 0723. (PDF) In: Quaternary International 167– 168, 2007, p. 36.