A stalagmite (from the Greek "stalagma" (""), "drop" or "drip") is a type of speleothem that rises from the floor of a limestone cave due to the dripping of mineralized solutions and the deposition of calcium carbonate. . If these formations grow together, the result is known as a column.

When touring caves with stalactites and stalagmites you might be requested to not touch the rock formations. This is generally because the formation is considered to still be growing and forming. Since the rock buildup is formed by minerals solidifying out of the water solution onto the old surface, skin oils can disturb where the mineral water will cling, thus affecting the growth of the formation. Oils and dirt from the hands can also stain the formation and change its colour permanently.

Stalagmites can also form in lava tubes, although the mechanism of formation is much different. Stalactites and stalagmites can also form on concrete ceilings and floors, although they form much more rapidly there than in the natural cave environment.

See also

* Stalactite
* Speleothem

External links

* [ The Virtual Cave: Stalagmites]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • stalagmite — [ stalagmit ] n. f. • 1644; du gr. stalagmos « écoulement goutte à goutte » ♦ Géol. Concrétion analogue à la stalactite, mais s élevant en colonne sur le sol. Sol couvert de stalagmites. Adj. STALAGMITIQUE . ● stalagmite nom féminin (grec… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stalagmite — Sta*lag mite (st[.a]*l[a^]g m[imac]t), n. [Gr. sta lagma that which drops, a drop, fr. stala zein to drop: cf. F. stalagmite.] (Geol.) A deposit more or less resembling an inverted stalactite, formed by calcareous water dropping on the floors of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stalagmite — (n.) 1680s, from Mod.L. stalagmites (Olaus Wormius), from Gk. stalagmos a dropping, or stalagma a drop, drip, from stalassein to trickle (see STALACTITE (Cf. stalactite)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • stalagmite — ► NOUN ▪ a mound or tapering column rising from the floor of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water. ORIGIN from Greek stalagma a drop , from stalassein to drip …   English terms dictionary

  • stalagmite — [stə lag′mīt, stal′əg mīt΄] n. [ModL stalagmites < Gr stalagmos, a dropping < stalassein, to drop or drip: see STALE2] a cone shaped, secondary mineral deposit built up on the floor of a cave by dripping water, often from a stalactite above …   English World dictionary

  • Stalagmite — Stalactite et stalagmite Une stalagmite est un spéléothème qui se forme sur le sol des grottes et souterrains par la chute lente et continue d eaux calcaires et par l effet splash de celles ci. Lorsque la stalagmite , en poursuivant sa lente… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • stalagmite —    1. Speleothem, normally of calcite, formed by upward growth from a cave floor, and therefore the complement of a stalactite. Stalagmites form when dripwater that is still saturated falls from a cave roof or stalactite and, when or after it… …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

  • stalagmite — UK [ˈstæləɡmaɪt] / US [stəˈlæɡˌmaɪt] noun [countable] Word forms stalagmite : singular stalagmite plural stalagmites science a long pointed piece of rock that rises up from the floor of a cave, formed by chemicals in water drops that have fallen… …   English dictionary

  • stalagmite — 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

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

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