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Treak Cliff Cavern Treak Cliff cavern contains stalactites, stalagmites, fossils and cave minerals.

inerals. Interestingly, Treak Cliff is home to Blue John, which is an extremely rare form of the halide mineral Fluorite. A large piece of Blue John, named The Pillar was discovered and mined over 300 years ago. The fossils in The Pillar reveal its age it is almost 330 million years old. For several years Treak Cliff cavern has been considered a Site of Special Scientific interest in agreement with English Nature. Though it is preserved in the visitors route, over 500kg of Blue John is minded in Treak Cliff cavern each year. The inner part of Treak Cliff was only found in 1926 when Castleton miners broke through. The longest stalactite is nearly 4 feet in length. Underneath it is a stalagmite is roughly a foot high, and they are only 1.5 inches away from touching.but it will take over a thousand years at the present growth rate before they touch!

Stalactite and stalagmite, elongated forms of various minerals deposited from solution by slowly dripping water. A stalactite hangs like an icicle from the ceiling or sides of a cavern. A stalagmite appears like an inverted stalactite, rising from the floor of a cavern. Stalactites hanging from the ceilings of caverns commonly exhibit a central tube or the trace of a former tube whose diameter is that of a drop of water hanging by surface tension. A drop on the tip of a growing stalactite leaves a deposit only around its rim. Downward growth of the rim makes the tube. The simplest stalactite form, therefore, is a thin-walled stone straw, and these fragile forms may reach lengths of 0.5 m (20 inches) or more where air currents have not seriously disturbed the growth. The more common form is a downward-tapering cone and is simply a thickening of the straw type by mineral deposition from a film of water descending the exterior of the pendant. Stalagmites have thicker proportions and grow up on the bottom of a cavern from the same dripwater source, the mineral from which is deposited after the water droplet falls across the open space in the rock. Not every stalactite has a complementary stalagmite, and many of the latter may have no stalactite above them. Where the paired relation exists, however, continual elongation (lengthening) of one or both may eventually result in a junction (where two or more things are joined) and the formation of a column. The dominant mineral in such deposits is calcite (calcium carbonate), and the largest displays are formed in caves of limestone and dolomite. Other minerals that may be deposited include other carbonates, opal, chalcedony, limonite, and some sulphides.