Difference Between Stalactites and Stalagmites l Stalactites vs Stalagmites


The key difference between stalactites and stalagmites is that the stalactites hang from the ceiling of caves whereas the stalagmites rise from the floor of a cave. Furthermore, the stalactites have a pointy edge, but the stalagmites have a thick edge. Also, they both differ on the conditions for formation.

Stalactites and stalagmites are two different formations that occur inside caves. We can categorize them as mineral deposits because these formations form due to the accumulation or deposition of different materials. These two types differ from each other according to their location inside the cave; either on the ceiling or the floor.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Stalactites
3. What are Stalagmites
4. Side by Side Comparison – Stalactites vs Stalagmites in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What are Stalactites?

Stalactites are formations that hang from the ceiling of caves. We can find them in hot springs and manmade structures such as bridges, mines as well. These formations form due to the deposition of different materials which are soluble that can deposit as colloids or materials in suspensions. Moreover, these materials should melt easily as well, to form these stalactites. These formations mainly contain the followings in common.

  • Lava
  • Minerals
  • Mud
  • Peat
  • Pitch
  • Sand
  • Sinter
  • Amberat

Speleothem is the most common example for these formations. It is a form of a stalactite that forms in limestone caves. However, people often misunderstand that all the stalactites are Speleothem, which is not true. There are many other forms of stalactites. Ex: Lava stalactites, ice stalactites, concrete stalactites, etc.

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